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Morphini Newman 1834

Niklas Wahlberg and Andrew V. Z. Brower
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taxon links [up-->]Caerois [up-->]Morpho [up-->]Antirrhea [down<--]Satyrinae Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Satyrinae


A clade of three neotropical genera dwelling in forest understorey. The iconic "blue morphos," with iridescent scales on their wings that refract sunlight and flash as the butterflies fly along paths and stream courses, are among the world's largest and most beautiful butterflies.


DeVries PJ, Kitching IJ, and Vane-Wright RI. 1985. The systematic position of Antirrhea and Caerois, with comments on the classification of the Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera). Syst. Ent. 10: 11-32.

Lamas G ed. 2004. Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera. Checklist: Part 4A Hesperioidea - Papiionoidea. Gainesville: Scientific Publishers/Association of Tropical Lepidoptera.

Penz CM, and DeVries PJ. 2002. Phylogenetic analysis of Morpho butterfles (Nymphalidae, Morphinae): implications for classification and natural history. Amer. Mus. Novitates 3374: 1-33.

Pena C, Wahlberg N, Weingartner E, Kodandaramaiah U, Nylin S, Freitas AVL, and Brower AVZ. 2006. Higher level phylogeny of Satyrinae butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) based on DNA sequence data. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 40: 29-49.

Title Illustrations
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Morpho achilles
Location Butterfly house, Vienna, Austria; native to South and Central America
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Morpho achilles
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2006 Gertrud Kanu
Scientific Name Caerois chorinaeus
Location Brazil: Mato Grosso, Rio Cristalino Lodge
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Life Cycle Stage adult
View ventral
Source Chorinaeus Morpho (Caerois chorinaeus )
Source Collection Neotropical Butterflies
Copyright © 2003 Will Carter
About This Page

Niklas Wahlberg
University of Turku, Finland

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Niklas Wahlberg at and Andrew V. Z. Brower at

Page: Tree of Life Morphini Newman 1834. Authored by Niklas Wahlberg and Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Wahlberg, Niklas and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2010. Morphini Newman 1834. Version 12 February 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Morphini/70272/2010.02.12 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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