The Blue Morpho Butterfly in Warwickshire Museum's Collections

Blue morpho butterfly, Warwickshire Museum collection.
Image courtesy of Warwickshire Museum

In the past, notably during the 19th century, the Warwickshire Museum collected specimens from exotic locations. Amongst our natural history collections we have a number of exotic butterflies, collected from tropical and subtropical places and well-known for their size and exotic patterns and colours.

One of these – the blue morpho – is known formally as Morpho peleides. It is one of our planet’s largest-known butterflies, with a wing span of up to around 20 centimetres. They live in the humid tropical forests of Latin America, on a liquid diet of decomposing fruit and other vegetation, and even decomposing animals. They face many threats, not least deforestation and over-collecting.

Today’s collecting policy

Today, our collecting policies mean that we collect plant and animal specimens mainly from Warwickshire. However, we have a duty of care for our more exotic specimens collected in the past, and recognise the role that they can play in education and raising awareness of ecological and environmental issues.

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