Subject: Puerto Rican Butterfly
Location: Puerto Rico
April 3, 2014 6:07 pm
I’ve been following your website for years and greatly enjoy it, so I’m excited to finally be able to send in an identification request. A few weeks ago I took a trip to Puerto Rico with fellow biologists and artists, and we came across this butterfly. I’m not sure which rainforest it was in, but the forest was about an hour away from the town of Manati and had several caves (we found a Puerto Rican boa!). I wish I could have taken a picture with its wings open, but I did not want to disturb it.
The photo was captured with the Canon 100mm f/2.8.
We are glad to learn that you have been enjoying what What’s That Bug? has to offer to the world. This beautiful green butterfly is a Malachite, Siproeta stelenes, and the Puerto Rico Wildlife website confirms is presence in Puerto Rico. According to the Butterflies and Moths of North America, the range of the Malachite is: “Brazil north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to southern Florida and South Texas. A rare stray into Kansas. Comments: The southern Florida populations have become established since the 1960s; presumably having emigrated from Cuba.” Despite being naturalized in North America, we haven’t ever received an image of this lovely species, and your wonderful image is the first. We have seen many decorative butterfly collections that include the Malachite, so we suspect it is a species that is common on butterfly farms.