Week 9: Morpho butterfly

What kind of butterfly is this? Where do they live?

Why is this butterfly so pretty?

Morpho butterfly

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Answers:

What kind of butterfly is this? Where do they live?

This is a type of Morpho butterfly. In Ancient Greece, Morpho was another name for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. These butterflies live in the rainforests of Central and South America, and can be found mostly in the forest canopy, or top layer of the rainforest.

Why is this butterfly so pretty?

The blue color of its wings has a shimmering metallic quality, which kind of gleams as you turn it from side to side. This is called iridescence. This also happens in bubbles, seashells, and some minerals. Things have iridescent surfaces because they reflect light differently. Ordinarily, the color of a surface comes from the wavelength of light it reflects; but when something is iridescent, many wavelengths of light are reflected from microscopic scales, which interfere with each other and cause the gleaming effect.

The Morpho's special wings allow them to see each other across great distances.