This is our final day of another great trip to the Luna y Mares hotel near Guardalavaca in Cuba. We have seen 85 species of butterflies and some other great wildlife, and found some new places to explore further when we come back here later in 2017. We had just the morning to explore before packing up ready for our flight back to Gatwick this afternoon. We checked out the lantana flowers by the balcony at the Mares pool where there were quite a few butterflies nectaring including this Florida Purplewing Eunica tatila.
And a quick check of the lagoon where there have been more warblers in evidence since the hurricane than there were before. A male Flambeau Dryas iulia spent a couple of minutes courting a female but was rebuffed.
I had one final failed attempt to get reasonable pictures of Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus in the horse field at the front of the hotel that we had seen here almost daily and then ensued a few minutes of panic as a Southern Dogface Zerene cesonia flew around the field nectaring on the blue porterweed with me in hot pursuit before it finally settled - a good find as we have only seen this species twice before.
It was only 100m from here to the little clearing where all the blues and hairstreaks were a couple of days ago. The numbers were fewer this morning but there was still a Martial Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon martialis. As I stood under the shade of a tree a Cuban Leafwing Anaea cubana flew down and started laying on the small Croton origanifolius bush beside me. It was too close to focus and so I had to move back slowly and watch as it flew round and chose another leaf on which to lay curving its body up to lay a single egg on the underside. I watched it lay several eggs like this before flying off to find another bush and I had a chance to examine one of the eggs. What a great way to finish the trip.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.