Thursday, November 24, 2011

Las mariposas de Chiloe (butterflies of chiloe)

During my stranding in Santiago, I went to a few bookstores and was surprised to discover a guide to Chilean butterflies in one – clearly I needed to buy it. Published in 1996 by two Chilean naturalists, it is a well-illustrated and informative book and all text is in both English and Spanish besides the two forewords one of which is in English and the other in Spanish – and they are entirely different.

Vanessa carye, Chiloe Island

In Santiago, I caught up to Vanessa carye and Phoebis sennae (cloudless sulphur), and on to Chiloe I went.

The overnight bus ride to Chiloe gave me time to scope out the possible species on the island According to the guide, there are 10 species on Chiloe Island – and a detailed survey of the center I am at during 2002 and 2003 turned up 9 of them (Concha-Bloomfield & Parra 2006).

Butleria elwesi, Chiloe Island

The first day here just walking around the center, I found 4 species – including one not found during 2002-2003, again, Vanessa carye, which may be fairly irruptive, like its northern relatives the painted and American ladies - and this year it is common here and in Santiago.  Since then I have found another two species and the other four should be around later in the summer. My goal now is to photograph them all.

Neomaenas poliosoma, Chiloe Island
The radiation of Chilean Satyrnidae, to which this guy belongs, is a group that very little is known of. For what it is worth, I find this species commonly in little forest breaks where fern and bamboo grow. 

Colias vautherii, female

Colias vautherii, male
The above species belongs to the same family as the cabbage white and sulphurs at home. The male is bright orange on the upperwings and the female white/black. 

Eroessa chilensis
This guy is by far my favorite butterfly here. A large, high-flying and gaudy species, this was the only picture I could get of it - resting and nectaring on "michay", Berberis darwini, a holly-like barberry common here and one of many plants that Darwin first collected for western science. 

1 comment:

  1. Woooow! Searching in my gmail i found my old blogspot and, over my desktop here in Santiago, a very old book called "Introducción al estudio de los insectos de Chile".

    I don't know nothing about insects, so i'll start with this book and maybe we can talk more scientifically about it, in future.

    About birds or mammals maybe the conversation will be more effective.

    PD: Flogging Molly rocks! Don't understand to much to Tom Waits