Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Las preferencias de alimentación de Morpho peleides en el Jardín de Mariposas Monteverde


Beth Wright



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Publication Date

August 2007


Morpho peleides is one of many tropical butterfly species that are fruit-feeding butterflies. In this paper, I will (1) explain the importance of biochemical components in banana pulp including amino acids, sugar, and alcohol in the diet of M. peleides and how it affects the butterflies’ food choices, and (2) suggest how fermentation might encourage or discourage food preferences banana pulp with high or low concentrations of alcohol. Six combinations were tested in this study: mature pulp with amino acids, mature pulp with water, mature pulp with rum, overripe pulp with water, overripe pulp with amino acids, and overripe pulp with rum. There was no significant difference among average feeding durations (ANOVA: F ratio = 1.60; p value = 0.16; df = 5) or among frequencies of visits between each food type (Chi-square Goodness of Fit: 2 = 8.77, p > 0.05). The similarity between visit times and frequencies for banana pulp samples with higher concentrations of amino acids and rum can be explained by (1) previous research suggesting that it is more common for nectar-feeding butterflies to have preferences for amino acids than it is for fruit-feeding butterflies like M. peleides, and (2) nutritional compensation of overripe bananas via (a) more amino acids released from the peel into the pulp or (b) higher sugar concentration peaks later on in the maturation process combined with stronger odor cues that attract the butterflies.


Morpho peleides es una de las muchas especies de mariposas tropicales que comen frutas. En este reporte explicaré (1) la importancia de los compuestos bioquímicos en la pulpa de banano incluyendo el amino ácido, la azúcar, y el alcohol en la dieta de M. peleides y como le afecta su elección de diferentes tipos de comida, y (2) sugiere en como el proceso de fermentación puede animar o disuadir las preferencias de pulpa de banano con concentraciones altas o bajas en alcohol.


Morpho peleides, Butterflies--Behavior, CIEE Summer 2007

Palabras claves

Mariposas--Comportamiento, CIEE Verano 2007


7 pages

Geographic Location

Cerro Plano (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Feeding preferences of captive Morpho peleides at the Monteverde Butterfly Garden, August 2007



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