|from the June 6, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda
Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
Malachite is an opaque, semi-precious, greenish stone often found in copper mines, consisting of about 57% copper. Often malachite is set in silver to make jewelry. That's not the malachite I'm talking about, though. The Malachite I'm thinking of is a pretty butterfly, SIPROETA STELENES, about the size of a Monarch Butterfly, and fairly closely related to that species. You can see a Malachite on my belt buckle above.
That individual, with its rear end nipped off, probably by a hungry bird, is on my belt buckle because when I took that picture I was working in the organic garden where usually my clothing gets drenched with sweat, and lots of butterflies love sweat. Sometimes as I work several sup on my back and legs, their tickling somehow a relief from the heat. A lot of sweat collects at the belt, on its way down.
Malachites are common here, as well they might be because often I've commented on the abundance here of prettily flowering herbs of the genus Ruellia (often called Wild Petunias in English), and Ruellias are the favored food of Malachite caterpillars.