In Cayman, an Unwelcome Tourist

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It may flutter innocuously, but the Papilio demoleus, or Chequered Swallowtail, is no friendly butterfly. The creature, which has recently been sighted for the first time in Cayman, has spread across the Caribbean with great intensity, from Jamaica to Puerto Rico and now, Grand Cayman. “Papilio demoleus arriving in the Cayman Islands is potentially bad news for us, because it is an invasive species from the Old World,” said Ann Stafford, a local butterfly expert. The butterfly, which has already wreaked havoc in the Dominican Republic, is considered a major threat to citrus crops, native trees and a local butterfly, the Cayman Swallowtail. “The larvae feed on citrus, particularly lime, and they have so many broods a year that they can become a menace of citrus crops.” [Caymanian Compass]