Possible Blue Morpho aggregate?
Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 7:03 AM
We saw this caterpillar aggregate in the tropics in Brazil, we think it may be the Blue Morpho butterfly
Bill and Linda in Tustin
Brazil, in tropical forest
Hi Bill and Linda,
We aren’t sure what these phenomenal caterpillars are. They might be Morpho Caterpillars that are supposed to form aggregations. They look somewhat like a Morpho Caterpillar image we located, but not enough to say it is a match. Perhaps one of our readers can enlighten us as to the species, or family of these beauties.
Update: Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 7:09 PM
Hello Bill and Linda,
These caterpillars, with their distinctive reddish coloration and intricate patterning, compare quite favorably with those of *Morpho telemachus* (sorry, no common name). Here are Internet photos from Mato Grosso, Brazil, and Manu, Peru:
Since we know little about this species’ larval range of individual variation, it’s also possible that your caterpillars may be of a very close relative, namely *Morpho cisseis* or (less likely) *Morpho hecuba* — both of which are lacking information on their immature stages. Please tell me: Where in Brazil did you photograph these larvae? Do you recall their size or approximate length? Thanks very much!
Update: Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 6:42 PM
I sure wish I knew why your website corrupts links by arbitrarily adding end-of-line spaces, as happened yet again with:
I truly hate to keep bugging (pun intended) you with these snafus, so please let me know what I’m doing “wrong”. Thanks very much and best wishes!
Thanks for the followup “glitch” report. We know that we cannot just cut and paste from the email service to the website as web links do not make a smooth transition. It adds time to our posting, but we actually need to visit the site by clicking the link in the email and then pasting the url from the address bar when we are on the site, replacing the link information in the email. We then create a new link with that information. We did not do that with the link you have indicated because we were denied access. We suspect the site is either a pay site or one that requires previous registration. Since we were unable to visit the site directly, we did not eliminate the spaces in the URL. That is now corrected, but we are still unable to visit the site. Thanks for your diligence.
Update: Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:33 PM
Muchas gracias, Daniel, for your time and effort! I don’t know why linking through the WTB site is “Forbidden”, when I have no such difficulty (never registered or paid anything), but in any case, attached is the picture in question. Please feel free to post or ignore as you see appropriate.
PS Just for the heck of it, try accessing the photo through your Gmail account (versus WTB server): http://k41.pbase.com/o6/69/756269/1/84768266.oLXDJgBO.morphorupsen2.JPG .
That also came up forbidden, but when we googled Morpho telemachus Bosch, the name of the caterpillar and the surname of the photographer of the photo you attached, we were led to the image online. We are posting a link to the image by Johan van ‘t Bosch of the Netherlands that you identified on a forum for Tropical Butterflies.