Cincinnati Police Arrest Woman In The Theft Of The Rare Blue Morpho


Police have been looking for a rather unique felon.  A woman was caught on security cameras at the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati stealing a rare blue morpho butterfly.  According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, they have now arrested Jamie Revis, 36. Without deciding guilt, I must confess that, if I was to guess at a butterfly thief in a line up, I just might pick Revis.

Blue morpho butterflies only live for 115 days.  They are native to Central and South American rainforests.  It also means that the removal of the butterfly likely resulted in its death due to the change in environment.

The surveillance tape shows the suspect going into the exhibit and being confronted by a woman at the facility:

For the purposes of a theft charge, it would be interesting to see how they put a price on the butterfly.  There is likely no market for the rare butterfly but there is a market for butterflies for collectors. In any case, it should be easy to satisfy a felony charge based on value.

13 thoughts on “Cincinnati Police Arrest Woman In The Theft Of The Rare Blue Morpho”

  1. When I was in the rainforest, I either saw the Blue Morpho, or a similar butterfly. There is a lot of mimicry and rapid evolution in insect species in the Amazon, due to the lack of a cold season. What I can say is that the butterfly I saw was like a blue glow in the gloom under the dense canopy. There is a dampening effect on sound, the vegetation is so dense. It is as if there is cotton in your ears, but you can still hear constant murmuring sounds – animals, birds, insects, raindrops, and running water. You can almost see the jungle grow. Moisture is everywhere. A path you walked upon yesterday will have noticeably more growth the very next day. And then in the dark shadows, you see this vibrant blue moth. It catches just a beam of sunlight here and there, and it’s like blue fire. Then it closes its wings and disappears in camouflage. I took a photo of it somewhere, but it did not do the colors justice. It was iridescent like mica and the most amazing blue, straight out of Rivendale or Pandora.

    The theft of a rare insect is tragic. Butterflies are so fragile, and I don’t know if the spring in OH is warm enough right now. Even dusting its wings can ruin them for flight. It’s theft was a waste

  2. Float like a butterfly..
    Sting like a bee…
    Lock the itchBay in a cage…
    And watch the lion do his thing.

  3. Madame Butterfly just got nabbed by Pinkerton. (who never sleeps)

  4. I really hope we can find some value in a rare animal based on its rarity and difficulty to acquire, rather than what a niche subgroup of people would pay for its corpse! Endangered animals protection should not be a popularity context.

  5. It is really had to tell from the video. The woman may have seen her, but you sure cannot tell from the video. I am keeping an open mind on this one.

  6. The theft aside, I’m intrigued by the Morpho’s short life span of 115 days. I remember seeing a documentary on the Mayfly who suffers a similarly incredibly short life span of under 24 hours at the subimago (adult) stage. The narrator asked a haunting question to end the film: “Are the minutes of mayfly’s life like our years or are our years like their minutes?”

    1. We used the drosophila fruit fly for genetic studies, because they lived about a day, and they naturally had mutations in eye color. You could go through many generations with thousands of subjects for selective breeding for genetic study in a month.

      Can you imagine the intensity of instinct for a creature that survives as an adult for a single day?

      The crane fly is another short lived adult. Most of its lifecycle is larval. I think some crane fly species only live about 3 days after metamorphosis and doesn’t even have mouth parts. Their adult purpose is to mate and die, without even the possibility of eating. I suppose in that way they are like the flowering part of an annual plant. The entire purpose of the flower is the seed.

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