Butterflies of St. Lucia

Nick Morgan, an butterfly enthusiast that is a member of bird forum asked me about butterflies on St. Lucia because he is going there later in the year. I had posted an ID question and written something on bird forum about the butterflies there.  Of course, it can't compete with Panama, but I do remember a lot of fluttering. Nick, I'm sorry I don't have much; I didn't put in the hours photographing and identifying them like I have done since arriving in Panama. I have a few from many places we've gone through simply because they are beautiful and part of nature, but my main focus is birds.I do remember seeing many in St. Lucia I couldn't  get shots of. There were swallowtails and lots of little blues.  I hope you have a great time there.
I don't know where you're staying or if you are going to risk life an limb renting a car, but two places you might want to visit are the Mamiku Gardens and the Diamond Botanical Gardens. Nick's blog:
A few butterflies from the island of St. Lucia, in the Caribbean (thanks for the IDs Nick):
Cloudless Sulfur  Phoebis sennae
Stinky Leaf Wing  Historis odius
The butterfly above was high up on a palm and too distant for a good shot, but I tried.  It was a very large butterfly.
White-tipped Black Moth  Melanchroia chephise
Little Yellow  Eurema lisa
Julia Heliconia  Dryas julia
Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanilla
Common Long-tailed Skipper  Urbanus proteus
Caribbean Buckeye Junonia evarete
Crimson Spectacled Moth  Utetheisa pulchella
Baracoa or Fiery Skipper
Diamond Falls in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
The Pitons on a hazy day.
The Pitons from the sea.
A view from Mamiku Gardens
View from Pigeon Island


  1. Sue, Thanks so much for posting about the butterflies on St Lucia. Other than a professor in Canada who has studied beetles on St Lucia, you are the only person who has been able to give me any information!
    I have managed to piece together some information from an old guide book of butterflies of the West Indies from 1975 and various web sites, including Flickr pictures. I have a list of 61 butterflies that are claimed by one or more sources to exist on St Lucia. I have also ordered for loan a couple of out of print books from the British Library on butterflies of the Caribbean.
    It is great to hear first-hand that there are good numbers of butterflies there. I particularly like blues and hairstreaks, but any butterflies I see on St Lucia will be new to me. There look to be some really beautiful species there. One web site that has provided more information than any other is this Focus on Nature site: http://www.focusonnature.com/CaribbeanButterfliesList.htm although I find it a little difficult to understand which islands some of the butterflies occur on.
    I certainly hope to hire a car and to explore some of the island, particularly the rain forest. I have never been anywhere like that before. I am so looking forward to our visit.
    Thanks again Sue.

    1. De Nada, Nick. I'm sure you'll have a good time, it's a beautiful island. The Millet Forest Trail is where you'll see the rain forest. I wrote a blog post about our rental car trip to the forest, but couldn't find it. That's because I hadn't transferred it from The Twitching Sailor to this blog. I finally transferred it today. It's got nothing to do with butterflies, but I do talk about driving in St. Lucia.

  2. Sue,
    I have enjoyed trying to identify some of your butterflies. I am not sure that I am right, but I was able to search through the list that I have made of butterflies that I think occur on St Lucia and these are my best guesses!

    Cloudless Sulphur - Phoebis sennae
    Stinky Leaf Wing - Historis odius
    Caterpillar – sorry can’t help with this one
    White-tipped Black moth - Melanchroia chephise
    Little Yellow - Eurema lisa
    Julia Heliconian - Dryas iulia
    Gulf Fritillary - Agraulis vanilla
    Common Long Tailed Skipper – Urbanus proteus
    Caribbean Buckeye - Junonia evarete
    Crimson Speckled Moth - Utetheisa pulchella (although I am not sure if it occurs in Panama. It seems to occur in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia!)
    I think you are probably right with the Fiery Skipper, but there is another very similar skipper called the Baracoa Skipper - Polites baracoa.
    It is amazing how variable many of the butterflies are that occur there and there are a number of similar species that occur there, too!
    Thanks again for posting them. They cheer me up on another rainy day in Scotland!

  3. Hi Nick,
    Wow, thanks for all that! I will edit and label the photos today after I finish my 'April Condensed' post. I only labeled the Fiery Skipper as that because I got what I thought was the same thing in Huntington Beach,California. I didn't realize there was one on St. Lucia that would look just like it (too me anyway ;)). I also didn't realize that the Buckeye was a "Caribbean". Make sense, there are a few endemic birds on the islands, I guess the same would apply to other creatures.
    Hope to 'talk' to you again soon.

    1. P.S.
      What a terrible name for that big, beautiful butterfly; STINKY LEAF WING?? With the latin name odius, I wonder if it really emits a stink? Have to look that one up.
      Thanks again for the time you've put into this, it's much apprecitated.