Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Malachite
Siproeta stelenes (Linnaeus, 1758)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Upperside is dark brown to black with translucent whitish green or yellow-green patches. Underside is orange-brown with greenish patches. Dry season (winter) form is larger and the hindwing underside has smudged black marks inside the orange marginal band; wet season (summer) form is smaller and has silver marks instead of black smudges.
Wing Span: 3 1/4 - 4 inches (8.3 - 10.1 cm).
Life History: Males perch on shrubs in forest or orchard openings and sometimes patrol for females with a slow, floating flight. Adults roost together under the leaves of low shrubs. Eggs are laid singly on host plant leaves, which caterpillars eat and rest beneath.
Flight: Two to three broods during the summer; one brood of the winter form hibernates.
Caterpillar Hosts: Cafetin (Blechum brownei) and ruellia (Ruellia coccinea) in the family Acanthaceae.
Adult Food: Rotting fruit. Occasionally feeds on bird droppings and nectar from flowers of lianas, trees, and sometimes herbaceous plants. Malachites may feed all day long and may fly to flowers 38 feet high in the canopy.
Habitat: Mango, citrus, and avocado orchards in Florida; subtropical evergreen or semideciduous forests in Central America.
Range: Brazil north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to southern Florida and South Texas. A rare stray into Kansas. Comments: The southern Florida populations have become established since the 1960s; presumably having emigrated from Cuba.
Conservation: Monitor United States populations.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL