Nature Sightings
Birds, butterflies, moths, plants, etc

Noteworthy (uncommon, rare or unusual) nature sightings - native, naturalized or visiting

Sept. 28, 29 and 30, 2010 Grand Cayman

Green Urania, Green Swallowtail moth, Urania fulgens, Family: URANIIDAE, nectaring on Quisqualis indica - Rangoon Creeper/Rice and Peas.

Dozens were seen in Grand Cayman, blown here (probably from Central America), by Tropical Depression #16, which became Tropical Storm Nicole briefly. Click on PHOTO ALBUM to see more pictures.

Chequered Swallowtail – Papilio demoleus, Family: PAPILIONIDAE, West Bay, Grand Cayman. NEW Cayman Islands record, May 29, 2011 ©Dora Valdez. This tailless Swallowtail butterfly is native to the Old World, but has been recorded in the Caribbean: Cuba (2007), Dominican Republic (2004), Puerto Rico, Jamaica and St. Martin. Its larval host plants belong to the RUTACEAE (Citrus) family. It has the potential to be an invasive species in Cayman. There is no cause for alarm at present, but the situation should be monitored.



Mid-March, 2010

Limpkin, Aramus guarauna, Family: ARAMIDAE, NEW Cayman Islands record, first noticed by Cayman Prep and High School Year 7 student, Giovanna Stafford. It was frequently seen on lawns in a sub-division off Walkers Road, Grand Cayman, feeding on the larvae of the Japanese Beetle, a major lawn pest, and invasive garden snails. Photo taken on April 11, 2010.

The Limpkin was sighted at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, in the Heritage Garden, on June 6, 2010.


Black Witch moth or Duppy Bat Ascalpaha odorata (male) Family: NOCTUIDAE

Moon Bay Condos stairwell, Nov.7, 2010 evening. Photo: Alastair Robertson.

These HUGE moths have been seen occasionally in Grand Cayman in different districts: July 2002 North Side; July 2004 East End; Oct. 2004 George Town; Oct. 2005 George Town; Nov. 2007 West Bay; Nov. 2010 Bodden Town. They are native, their larval food plants grow here.  The “9-shaped" eyespot on the forewing is diagnostic. (See FAQ page for more information.)

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly, Celithemis eponina, Family: LIBELLULIDAE (Common Skimmers).

NEW Cayman Islands record, first seen by Peter Davey at Savannah Grand, Grand Cayman on Feb.16, 2011. This photo was taken by him at Pedro St. James Quarry on Feb.24, 2011.


April is Earth Month - Wild Cinnamon shines!

Wild Cinnamon - Croton nitens (Family: EUPHORBIACEAE) is the only larval food plant of the Cayman Brown Leaf Butterfly - Memphis verticordia danielana, (Family: NYMPHALIDAE), one of the five endemic subspecies of butterfly in the Cayman Islands. This attractive, ENDANGERED, pleasantly aromatic, small slender tree can be grown from seeds, cuttings or air-layering. It also grows from root runners.

For more photos, visit CaymANNature on Facebook, April is Earth Month - Wild Cinnamon shines! album: 

and CaymANNature Butterflies and their Plants album:


Cayman Pygmy Blue Butterfly habitat, Barkers National Park

Palmetto Point, West Bay, Grand Cayman,  May 29, 2011

Pygmy Blue butterflies are the smallest in the Western Hemisphere, possibly in the world.

The Grand Cayman endemic subspecies Brephidium exilis thompsoni, Family: LYCAENIDAE, is restricted to a low-lying saline habitat, where its larval food plant, Glasswort - Salicornia perennis, Family: CHENOPODIACEAE and its pretty pink nectar flower Sea-pulsey - Sesuvium portulacastrum, Family: AIZOACEAE, grow. Samphire (Silverhead) - Blutaparon vermiculare, Family: AMARANTHACEAE, is often found growing with them.

On May 29, 2011, the tiny butterflies were found at the Palmetto Point habitat and along Barkers dykes roads, bordered by a canal, where Glasswort was growing.

For more photos, visit CaymANNature on Facebook, Barkers National Park album