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Malachite

Siproeta stelenes

Description:

Very similar to Philaethria dido, the wing shape is the key to differentiating the two. The wing shapes are different with P. dido having longer, narrower smooth edged wings while this butterfly, S. stelenes, has less narrow wings with scalloped edges. It is black with beautifully symetric green spots. The underside of the wings is similar to the topside except instead of black and green it is light brown and light green (foto #4)

Habitat:

Malachite is found on the edges of clearings in secondary forests. This is opposed to the habitat of the often-confused Dido Longwing (Philaethria dido), which is rarely seen as it is found in the upper canopy of forests. This was part of the key to identifying this butterfly. This example was found in a clearing in the Amazon rainforest in SE Ecuador. We went round and round on a windy day until if finally sat still on the ground for a minute.

Notes:

I had this spotting all filled out for Dido Longwing (Siproeta stelenes) when I stumbled on the Malachite (Philaethria dido). I came on the statement, "Less experienced lepidopterists (i.e. Tukup) often confuse Philaethria dido with the Malachite, Siproeta stelenes...the wing shape of the two genera are completely different however." <http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Ama...> I take exception to the words "completely different" as I had to put the two side-by-side to finally see the differences :-)

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6 Comments

Tukup
Tukup 2 years ago

Reminds me of a t-shirt that says, "Your village just called. Their idiot is missing." :-) I think that applies to most of us in areas in which we are lacking experience and/or knowledge. Thanks Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 years ago

Gorgeous spotting, Tukup. I love your notes too. "Less experienced lepidopterists" means just about everyone. Bear in mind, if it comes with pictures, it's for village idiots like me ;)

Tukup
Tukup 2 years ago

It was a windy day also, which didn't help except pushing it over so I got a nice shot of the underside (foto #4). I had to wait for it to finally land on the ground. But well worth it. A brilliant beauty. Thanks for the comment.

Brian38
Brian38 2 years ago

What a beauty Tukup!! Glad you were rewarded for your persistence! Great job on investigating the ID!

Tukup
Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Roy. You wouldn't believe how long it took to get those pictures :-)

Roy Arun
Roy Arun 2 years ago

Wow...So beautiful, sir......👍

Tukup
Spotted by
Tukup

Morona Santiago, Ecuador

Spotted on Apr 4, 2019
Submitted on Apr 4, 2019

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