Emperor Butterfly

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"I caught an emperor butterfly! It's blue... it's royal!" —Wild World
"I caught an emperor butterfly! Such royal beauty!" —City Folk
"I caught an emperor butterfly! Feeling blue, Your Majesty?" —New Leaf
"I caught an emperor butterfly! It's not your average monarch!" —New Horizons
Emperor Butterfly
Scientific name Morpho menelaus
Family Nymphalidae
Time of year June to September
Time of day 8am to 5pm (Animal Crossing: Wild World)
7pm to 8am (Animal Crossing: City Folk, Animal Crossing: New Leaf)
5pm to 8am (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)
Location Near flowers / Tortimer Island
Size 115 mm
Rarity Uncommon
Very Rare (Pocket Camp)
Selling price 2,500 Bells
4,000 Bells (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)
Main Appearances
Other Appearances

The Emperor Butterfly (モルフォチョウ, Morufochō), also called Emperor, is an uncommon butterfly that is found around flowers in the summer months, late in the day. It is the only butterfly that can be found in the night. It is sold for 4,000 Bells in New Horizons, and 2,500 Bells in prior games.

Donating to the museum[edit]

As with all fish and bugs in the Animal Crossing series, the Emperor Butterfly can be donated to the Museum by talking to Blathers, the curator. When donating, Blathers will say the following upon receiving the Emperor Butterfly:

In Wild World[edit]

If you wish to keep an emperor butterfly as a specimen, remove the body. If you don't, oils from the expired body will leak out, changing the wing color. Blech, the very thought of those post-mortem oils...

After donation, the Emperor can be found fluttering around the flowers in the first room of the insect exhibit.

In City Folk[edit]

"The emperor butterfly's beautiful blue markings make it a popular gift in certain parts of the world. Hoo, yes, wonderful gift... Such gift givers should have their heads examined, I should think..."

It can be found in the bottom terrace, flying near or resting on the flowers with any other butterflies.

In New Leaf[edit]

The Emperor Butterfly flying around the player in the Museum in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Upon being donated, the butterfly can be found in the first room of the bug exhibit resting on flowers with the other butterflies. The exhibit has this to say about the Emperor Butterfly:

"Emperor butterflies are easily recognized because of their lovely, iridescent blue wings. Pigmentation isn't actually what causes the color, but rather the reflections on their wing scales. Since their wings shimmer when moving, noticing them is much easier when they are midflight."

In New Horizons[edit]

When the player donates an emperor butterfly, Blathers will say this about it before thanking the player for the donation:

"The emperor butterfly is called the jewel of the forest. But its vivid blue hue... Eww, let me tell you! The color does not come from a dye, but rather from light reflecting off translucent scales. Yes, butterfly wings are covered in tiny scales! SCALES! Butterfly? Bah! More like snake of the sky!"

Bug Encyclopedia information[edit]

Wild World[edit]

Emperor butterfly (Wild World).gif    ''Their wings are iridescent, like the back of a CD."
  • Size- 115 mm
  • Season- Summer
  • Time- Midday

City Folk[edit]

Emperor Butterfly (City Folk).png     ''Their wings appear to be blue on one side, but quite plain on the other."
  • Size- About 115 mm
  • Season- Summer
  • Time- Night

Further information[edit]

A real Emperor Butterfly

Morpho menelaus, more commonly known as the Blue Morpho, is an exotic butterfly that can be found in Central and South America. It feeds primarily on rotten fruit, but in the larval stage, frequently eats other larvae of the same species. Oddly, it is not referred to as an Emperor Butterfly in the real world, but the family to which it belongs, Nymphalidae, is sometimes known as the Emperors.


Morpho stems from the Greek word for form, and therefore means 'changed'. This may be a reflection of the species' iridescence, which has the quality of changing colors in the light. Menelaus was a legendary king of Sparta who married Helen of Troy.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese モルフォチョウ
Spanish Mariposa celeste Literally, "Sky blue butterfly".
French Morpho bleu Blue morpho
Dutch Blauwe morpho Blue morpho
German Himmelsfalter Sky Butterfly
Italian Morfo blu
Farfalla morfo blu (NH)
Blue Morpho
Korean 몰포나비
Chinese (Simplified) 大蓝闪蝶
dàlán shǎndié
Blue morpho
Chinese (Traditional) 大藍閃蝶
dàlán shǎndié
Blue morpho
Russian Морфо менелай
Morfo menelay
Menelaus morfo