The afternoon was spent traveling west to Camagüey in the centre of the island but before that we spent the morning exploring the area outside the town where we watched the Bartram's Scrub-Hairstreaks Strymon acis yesterday. We must have seen about 25, all very fresh, and sitting on the tips of the Croton shoots and nectaring from the flowers. Whereas yesterday we only saw females, today we saw several males as well showing the white rather than grey upperside of the abdomen.
We also saw Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon istapa and Nickerbean Blue Cyclargus ammon as well as a Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae larva on Senna occidentalis.
While looking for larvae on the Croton origanifolius I came across a shelter that instead of the larva being between two leaves it was in a single leaf rolled up on itself longitudinally. This was the larva of the Cuban Leafwing Anaea cubana although all that was visible of it was its rather well-protected head. We later saw an adult flitting about on the path.
The commonest butterfly here was the rather drab Concolorous Skipper Burca concolor although most were now looking slightly worn.
Further on there was a Fig Tree Ficus overhanging the path on which the others found several larvae of Caribbean Daggerwing Marpesia eleuchea. Two were in the final instar whilst one was smaller and probably fourth instar.
There were lots of other good things in this area including a small larva of Bahaman Swallowtail Heraclides andraemon feeding on a Citrus plant. Larvae are quite similar at this age to those of Oviedo's swallowtail Heraclides oviedo but they have rather more white at the front and rear, and of course the latter feeds on Piper not Citrus.
We took Felix and Sandy back to Gibara and called briefly at Feli's brother in the hope of finding a new anole Anolis isolepis but we were out of luck on that front. The garden there had been beautifully created and I'm in awe of people with such creative artistic talent. A few years ago there had been a Fig tree growing in the garden but it had blown down in a big storm and so, wanting a quick replacement to provide shade for the pool, he built a tree made of reinforced concrete in its place! Planting a quick-growing creeper and adorning it with epiphytic plants and lichens quickly gave it the appearance of a real tree. A pair of Cuban Emeralds had already reared one brood and the female was busy incubating eggs in a new nest about 3m up.
Welcome to our Blog
Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.