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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)
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.
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 :-)
Spotted on Apr 4, 2019
Submitted on Apr 4, 2019
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