Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Elusive Blue Morpho

Saturday, Gary, Vin and I had the pleasure of visiting the Butterfly House. Last time, armed with my point and shoot, I tried my best to capture a photo of the Blue Morpho butterfly... tried being the key word there. In the end I purchased postcard of the butterfly.

This time, I had a Canon 40D. Despite that I don't know a ton about it, I figured I could capture photo of the elusive Blue Morpho butterfly. I. was. determined.

After a few minutes, it was clear that this was going to be more difficult than I thought. I thought
my best shot might be to throw my camera in the sport setting and maybe, just maybe, I would get lucky.

In my defense, I found a few reasons to defend my inability to shoot this bold butterfly.

According to the St. Louis Zoo:

"Despite their stunning color, blue morphos are not true blue - that is,
their wings are not colored blue. So what's the deal? Like all butterflies,
morphos have tiny, overlapping scales covering their wings. In blue morphos,
the scales on their wing tops have tiny ridges that reflect blue light. So
even though the butterflies aren't colored blue, their wing tops look
blue! In contrast, the underside of their wings is brown, visible when
the butterflies are at rest and their wings are folded up. The drab color
helps them blend in with their surroundings and hide from enemies like birds
and large insects. If the butterflies are discovered, they have a second
line of defense: two bronze-colored wing spots that look like eyes - perfect
for scaring off would-be predators."

Additionally, the Rainforest Alliance says, "When the blue morpho flies, the contrasting bright blue and dull brown colors flash, making it look like the morpho is appearing and disappearing."

Here are what my shots looked like: IMG_8991



Yep, nothing... I have more than one...or a half a dozen... shots like this.IMG_9018








I'm pretty sure this is a blue morpho who has landed. I even compared it to online photos. But since only the top of their wings reflect blue, to see the color they almost have to be seen in flight.




This is the closest I got. And even with this, I'm pretty sure the butterfly, who has an entire life cycle of only 115 days, was in his last throes of life and was clinging to the glass and falling to the floor. Poor guy.

So together: "Epic Fail."

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