The Malachite, Siproeta stelenes

Malachite

The Malachite ranges from the southern United States to Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia. The wings are black with large, translucent light green patches. The ventral surface bears the same pattern, but is light brown and green. The wing span measures 8 – 10 cm.

In the US, Malachites can be found in mango, citrus, and avocado orchards. Further south, they frequent open subtropical forests. Adults often feed on rotting fruit, and occasionally on bird droppings and nectar. Males patrol for females with a slow, floating flight. Adults roost together at night in low shrubs. Malachite caterpillars are dark olive and feed on Cafetin (Blechum brownei) and Ruellia (Ruellia coccinea).

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