Cloudless Sulphur & Why Costa Rica?

Though this is a repeat butterfly for the blog, these are maybe better photos than I posted back in 2020 and again on June 15 this year with some doubt then of the ID, but I’m relatively certain now that these are Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies, Phoebis sennae, link. They seem to be fairly common all over North America and that website will soon start showing them in Costa Rica! 🙂

Cloudless Sulphur, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Esmeralda Longtail

This is my second year and third sighting of this butterfly in my garden over 7+ years which means he is not especially common also shown by the lack of reports online on the butterfly site. Many of the Longtail Skippers are very similar and have this bluish coloring on the body with the main difference being in the spots arrangement and the white fringe.

Esmeralda Longtail Skipper, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Guava Skipper

My second time to see this colorful butterfly was almost two weeks ago (yeah, I’m writing posts way ahead again, but will do it live daily on my trip in July). It was after breakfast, walking in my garden, when I found him. The Guava Skipper, Phocides polybius (Wikipedia link) is found from South Texas through Mexico and all of Central America down to Argentina. My only other time to see one was at Xandari Resort Alajuela for my birthday in 2019. Those photos plus these here can be seen in my Guava Skipper Gallery.

The one at Xandari was bluer than this one which is darker or close to black. And it is interesting that most of my butterfly photos at home show them on a Porterweed flower even though I have many other flowers. An obvious preference for butterflies and hummingbirds! 🙂 And by the way, they are called “Guava” because they lay their eggs on a Guava Plant, which is somewhere between a shrub and a small tropical tree. 🙂

Guava Skipper, Atenas, Costa Rica

Now here’s six shots in a slideshow for a change . . .

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Blue-winged Sheenmark

This is my fourth time to see one of these colorful butterflies and all but one was in my garden, with the other one at Xandari Nature Resort in Alajuela. See my Blue-winged Sheenmark Gallery or see other people’s photos at this Butterflies of America site. I found no thorough articles online except to note that they’ve been reported from SE Mexico south through all of Central America to Ecuador. In other words another of those mainly in Central America butterflies! 🙂

Blue-winged Sheenmark, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Dorantes Longtail

This Dorantes Longtail, Urbanus dorantes (Link is to was in my garden the 3 or 4 weeks ago with one of the yellows being the only two at that time. I wrote this post and then forgot about it, lost in my “drafts.” 🙂 This one is found from Argentina north through Central America and Mexico to South Texas and Florida plus the West Indies. I’m expecting more butterflies to start arriving soon or sometime in June.

Dorantes Longtail, Roca Verde, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Blue-gray Tanager

The Blue-gray Tanager (eBird link) is a common bird here that is found only in Central and South America. I love it when one comes to my garden as he did here back in May here in one of my Nance Trees. See some of the many photos I’ve made of this bird all over Costa Rica in my Blue-gray Tanager Gallery.

Blue-gray Tanager. My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Rufous-tailed in the Shadows

This most common hummingbird in Costa Rica and the only species I’ve seen in my yard for 2 or 3 years now and this one is infrequent or the only one. I’ve not seen two together this year. I’m not sure what is happening with the humming birds, but I’m not seeing as many now, even though the visited reserves seem to have more, it is less than in earlier years.

And this particular one in my garden is extremely shy, staying in the shadows which makes it difficult to photograph and flying away as soon as he/she seems to be aware of me. This one was alone in my Nance tree the other morning at breakfast and later the others or the same one in different locations. The only species of hummingbird in my garden now.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Salome Yellow, Eurema salome

This butterfly in my garden is like many of the others, hard to identify, but the closest match in my book and online seems to be Salome Yellow (Eurema salome) (link to The book was more helpful for this butterfly than this online site though other sites verified the single spot on top. While the bottom side of the wings is very similar to both the Cloudless Sulphur and Tailed Sulphur, the heavier border and single dark dot on top seals it for this species, I think! 🙂

Salome Yellow (Eurema salome), Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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