We set off back in the direction of Guardalavaca today after one last look at the pool. Lynn didn't swim this morning as it was windy and cool first thing and had rained overnight.
We discussed places that we might stop on the way back and as Doug had mentioned a place near Cayo Saetia where he had seen Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon bazochii before, we decided to take a small detour as it was a species we had still not caught up with. When we arrived it didn't look too promising as it was drizzling with rain so we waited in the car for it to stop. As soon as it did we jumped out and started searching the Lantana bushes. Needless to say Doug was the first to find one - in exactly the same place he had seen them before.
Further searching produced a couple more and they were surprisingly confiding allowing a very close approach with the camera. There were at least two females and a rather tatty male and I felt sure I would be able to find eggs or larvae but failed completely - very annoying. But there were other butterflies Limenia Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon limenia, Three-spotted Skipper Cymaenes tripunctus, the endemic Smudged Yellow Eurema lucina and some nice spiders too.
And this rather magnificent wasp Polistes major that we have seen before, in fact we have seen it fairly commonly in the last few days. This is the largest of the 'paper wasps' so called because they build paper nests. The wasps are just under an inch long and are said to have a fierce sting. They are found in Central America, the Greater Antilles and Florida, Georgia and Arizona in the US. They have also been found to have colonised Spain since 2008. The ones we saw were mainly drones I think as they were hunting for insects and caterpillars to take back to their nest. We didn't see any nests though on previous trips in 2016 we have found nests of two other smaller Polistes species and I have added photos of these below. Thanks to Julio A. Genaro for the identifications.
On the way back we had to wait at one point for the 'ferro bus'. We hardly ever see trains in Cuba though you often cross the tracks on country roads so this was completely unexpected. It just shows the resourcefulness of Cubans.
Back at the Luna y Mares hotel I couldn't resist stopping to take some pictures of this female American Redstart as we walked back to our room. And later we watched a young merlin put on a fantastic display chasing the bats at the theatre building.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.