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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Malachite Butterfly - Siproeta Stelenes

Siproeta stelenes is the scientific name for the malachite, a brush-footed butterfly. The malachite has large wings which are black and brilliant green or yellow-green on the uppersides and light brown and olive green on the undersides. It is named for the mineral malachite, which is similar in color to the bright green on the butterfly's wings. The wingspread is typically between 8.5 and 10 cm. The malachite is found throughout Central America, where it is one of the most common butterfly species. Its distribution extends as far north as southern Texas and the tip of Florida, to Cuba and south to Brazil.

Adults feed on flower nectar, rotting fruit, dead animals, and bat dung. Females lay eggs on the new leaves of plants in the Acanthaceae family, especially ruellia. The larvae are horned, spiny black caterpillars with red markings.

How Sweet

How they multiply.

There are four stages to a butterfly's life cycle. The first is the egg laid by the female. After 5 to 10 days, a tiny caterpillar hatches from the egg. The caterpillar begins an eating binge that continues through its stage in a butterfly's life. The well-fed caterpillar then becomes a pupa or chrysalis. During this dormant but transitional stage, no food is taken in. At the end of this stage, the adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.


How they hunt.

Butterflies smell with their antennae to find nectar. To sip nectar, they have a long hollow tube called a proboscis. This lets them probe deep into flowers to reach the nectar. When the proboscis is not being used, it stays coiled up underneath the butterfly's head. When flying from flower to flower, butterflies use their wings in the same way birds do. And while butterflies are not as fast as birds, some tropical species can maintain a flying speed of 24 miles per hour.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So Sweet

Where they live.

Butterflies can be found in all but the hottest and coldest parts of the world. More butterflies live in the tropics than anywhere else. That's because in the tropics, there are always plenty of plants for the caterpillars to eat and many blossoms to produce nectar for butterflies. Tropical butterflies also live the longest—some for up to one year. Butterflies that live in more temperate climates have an average lifespan of just a few weeks or a few months. Some live a mere few hours.

What A Delicate Butterfly!

Black N White

Butterflies Collection