The Orsis bluewing butterfly (Myscelia orsis) is a brightly coloured Neotropical butterfly named for the vibrant blue colour of the male’s wings. Although mainly blue above, the male Orsis bluewing butterfly also has black margins to its upperwings, and a reddish-brown patch on the outer edge of the forewings. The forewings are also marked with lighter blue patches, and the tips of the forewings are quite square in shape (3).
The male and female Orsis bluewing butterfly differ in appearance, to the extent that they appear to belong to two separate species. The female Orsis bluewing butterfly has more scalloped wing margins than the male, and has brown rather than blue upperwings, which are patterned with white spots and blotches. However, like the male, the female has a reddish-brown patch at the edge of the forewing (3).
In both the male and female Orsis bluewing butterfly, the undersides of the wings are a dull brown to grey, but the female’s underside has more white patches and stripes than in the male. This species’ pattern of stripes and spots is likely to break up its outline and provide it with camouflage in its forest habitat (3).
The caterpillar of the Orsis bluewing butterfly is reported to be covered in branching spines, and has two very long, spined horns on its head, which are directed forwards when the caterpillar is at rest (4).
- Male forewing length: c. 2.5 cm (2)
- Female forewing length: c. 2.7 cm (2)