These photos were taken of a moth found in a semi-deciduous forest at San Diego de Los Baños, Pinar del Rio on 04 July 2021 by Dayron Breto Bernitez. It is a female of one of the Tiger moths in the genus Virbia. In Cuba there are just four species in the genus and all are endemic. There are no pictures of any of them on the internet that I can find and as I didn't know which of the four species it was, I sent the photos to Dr Rayner Núñez to see if he could help. He came back to me to say that he had only ever seen it once and that it was Virbia disparilis. So thank you to Rayner for the identification and to Dayron for letting use his photos.
A beautifully composed photo taken this time by Vladimir Mirabal of another scarce butterfly that we have only seen on a couple of occasions in Cuba. The Tailed Cecropian Historis acheronta is quite widespread in the southern part of the USA down to Argentina including many of the Caribbean islands. We also managed to see one in Bolivia when we were there in November 2019. Thank you Vladimir for allowing me to use your wonderful photo, which was take recently at Guanabo, just east of Habana.
Gundlach's Duskywing Chiomara gundlachi is one of the rarest butterflies in the world. It is endemic to Cuba and has only been seen on a handful of occasions. We have been fortunate and seen it twice, once at Guanahacabibes and also near Santa Clara. It is clearly widespread in its distribution from the sparse dots in the new Cuban Field Guide and even Luis Roberto Hernandez who wrote the previous Field Guide back in 2004 had only seen it at two places.
So it was lovely when Jose Alberto Perez Hechavarria posted the above picture on the Facebook page Mariposas y Polillas de Cuba asking for the identification. He took the photo north of Holguin on 23 March 2021. Nothing is known yet of the life cycle - there is so much still to learn.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.