Siproeta stelenes, Malachite

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Freshly emerged adult

4th instar larva

Description: 37-47 mm. Dark brown with bright green patches on both forewing and hindwing. Ventral side is brownish orange with green patches. This butterfly cannot be confused with any other butterfly in Florida. 

 

Habitat and Distribution: The malachite flies in shady areas where host plant grows, usually in understories of open hammocks or tree stands. It lives locally common in isolated colonies in the Florida mainland. They are common in Central and South America as well as throughout the Caribbean. The malachite has been reported from most of the larger Keys. I have found several individuals on Bahia Honda Key while observing Miami Blues. 

 

Host Plant: Green shrimp plants (Blechum brownei)

 

Natural History: This is another childhoom favorite! The deep green of this butterfly make for a very unique and unusual site. They are easily reared in large numbers as their larvae have a fantastic appetite and devour large amounts of leaves of green shrimp plant. They are very sporadic in populations being common at some times and absent in others. We have not found this butterfly regularly in the Keys but it is present. 

 

Final instar larva

Freshly emerged adult

Freshly emerged adult

Abarant adult

Abarant adult

Freshly emerged adult

Freshly emerged adult

Malachite on Bahia Honda Key

Malachite on Bahia Honda Key

The face of a malachite

Larva being attacked by predatory stink bug

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