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The green butterfly

Sunday, December 17, 2006 | 2 comments

Read the previous part of this blog entry in Rain frogs and a tarantula.

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes), dorsal, on a sugarcane leaf.
Malachite (Siproeta stelenes), dorsal, on a sugarcane leaf.

We walked some more between the high sugarcane plants. Now and then people passed us. It looked like we were following a road going somewhere, probably a town. Then we both saw a large green butterfly, a Malachite (Siproeta stelenes). We have seen this species quite often, especially when there are mango trees nearby, because the adults feed on rotting fruit. And indeed in the distance we saw several mango trees.

Close-up of the Malachite butterfly.
Close-up of the Malachite butterfly.

I waited until the butterfly rested on a leaf of a sugarcane plant to take a few photos. This took quite some patience, but after a few minutes the butterfly finally landed, and I could take some photos.

Malachite butterfly on a sugarcane leaf, wings folded, ventral.
Malachite butterfly on a sugarcane leaf, wings folded, ventral.

After some time the green butterfly had enough of being used as a model, and fluttered away. But from its movements it was clear that the butterfly was looking for another place to rest, so I just waited until it landed on a leaf again, and took some more photos.

An attempt to get the Malachite on my finger.
An attempt to get the Malachite on my finger.

After a few more photos I did an attempt to get the Malachite on my finger. In the above photo you can see how well this butterfly blends into the background of sugarcane leaves and stems.

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) resting on my finger.
Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) resting on my finger.

The first few attempts failed. I somehow scared the butterfly, and it flew around a bit, looking for a new and more peacefull place to land. And after it had landed, I carefully tried again. Esme made also a few attempts, and finally I managed to get the butterfly on my finger.

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) on Esme's arm, close-up, dorsal.
Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) on Esme's arm, close-up, dorsal.

The Malachite had no problem with resting on Esme's arm. We decided to continue our walk. The butterfly stayed on Esme's arm for quite some time, but then it had enough, and fluttered away, and disappeared between the sugercane.

Green butterfly on Esme's arm.
Green butterfly on Esme's arm.

Read the final part of this blog entry in Hierba Buena?.

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