The old plant nursery of REGUA was located near a small stream and surrounded by secondary and riparian forest, making it a very attractive playground for all kinds of insects, such as butterflies. Actually, it was an excellent spot to observe the rather elusive metalmarks (Riodinidae) and magnificent hairstreaks (Lycaenidae). It was not unusual to see female butterflies ovipositing on the young tree saplings, attracted by the tender leaves and shots; a couple of new REGUA records were found by rearing some of those caterpillars.
Last year REGUA’s nursery was moved to an open sunny area, by the side of the reserve main gates, thus potentially becoming less attractive for the mentioned arthropod fauna. So, on 29 March it was quite a surprise and joy to see a female of one of the largest south American hairstreaks, Marsyas Hairstreak or Cambridge Blue Pseudolycaena marsyas (Linnaeus, 1758), a flying ‘piece of the Sky’ – laying eggs on seedlings of at least three different species of Leguminosae (Pterocarpus violaceus, Inga sp. and Mimosa sp.). Not only is REGUA planting forest, but the saplings are moved to the field already carrying some of its related insect fauna!
Further information on Marsyas Hairstreak Pseudolycaena marsyas: