Nectar for butterflies
A source of nectar is as essential a requirement for many butterflies as having the larval foodplants nearby. It's not true for all as there are some that utilize other sources of sugars such as rotten fruit like the Historis and Eunica species and the beautiful Mosaic Colobura dirce amongst others which we have watched on the ground feeding on the fallen fruits of a Mountain Apple Syzygium malaccense (see below). Of those that use flowers for nectar it is usually the females of the species that do this whilst the males get essential minerals and fluids from damp ground.
We have most often seen Purple-washed Skipper Panoquina lucas nectaring at flowers close to the ground but the truth is that butterflies will take advantage of nectar wherever that might be so long as their their proboscis is long enough to access it. The interesting photograph at the top was taken by Karen Aguilar Mugica and shows swarms of these skippers using a flowering tree in the Botanic Garden at Habana and described them as being just like bees. She is going to try to find out the name of the tree next time she goes back there. Thank you Karen for letting me use for photograph.
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Here we will post interesting news about what we and others have seen in Cuba.