Biodiversity of Saint Kitts and Nevis's Boletim

24 de abril de 2022

Earth Day Clean-Up and Nature Survey at Fort Ashby on Nevis

(In particular many of the IDs may be need to be refined and corrected.)
On Earth Day I recorded 80 species of organisms at Fort Ashby, near the coast in the Cotton Ground region of Nevis.

Fort Ashby is a piece of land surrounding a coastal fort built in 1701. The fort was situated near what was, in the 1600s, the original capital of Nevis, Jamestown. The fort is semi-circular, and the outer wall, which faces towards the sea, features four cannon.
Due to coastal build-up of sand, the fort is now 100 yards back from the edge of the sea and there is a lagoon pond which stretches the full width of the piece of land that is bordered on both sides by private property. The pond used to have a wooden bridge over it, but now the bridge has fallen apart and therefore currently there is no access to the beach area of Fort Ashby.

At some point in recent times, one of the walls of the fort was extended upwards, and the structure was roofed in order to convert it into a bar-restaurant. Subsequently, when the lease expired, the restaurant was abandoned, along with three more recent small residences and at least one other small building.

The entire area was not maintained, and so in recent years it became extremely overgrown an almost impenetrable. It was also occasionally misused for illegal dumping.

The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) is now in the process of reclaiming the site and improving it, so that it can become a natural, historical, and educational attraction for both locals and tourists. They have been awarded a grant to help enable this process,

A Nevis friend of mine, Miriam Knorr of NHCS, asked me if I would volunteer at Fort Ashby on Earth Day. Although the rest of the NHCS team were doing physical clean-up of the site, Miriam asked me if I would use iNaturalist to record and photograph the nature of the area. I spent nearly four hours there in the morning, making 160 nature observations of what appear to be 80 species. The seven other NHCS volunteers collected and carried out abandoned trash (two entire truckloads) and cut down a vast amount of invasive vegetation, which will be burned.

My iNat lists and photos will eventually be used to create such things as a leaflet and signage, once the Fort Ashby site is fully restored and ready for visitors.

GARDEN PLANTS, brought in and planted deliberately by humans (7 species recorded)

African Baobab
Common Lantana
Glory-bower, Red Bleeding Heart Vine
Crinum -- Swamp Lilies
Fan Palms, Coryphoideae
Mother-in-law's Tongue

All from the Scrubland area:

WILD TREES AND BUSHES (8 species recorded)

White Leadtree
Sea Almond
Indian Mango
Noni (seedling inside the fort)
Clammy Cherry
Shrubby Indigo
Sandbox Tree

SOFT PLANTS WILD -- includes wildflowers and weeds (27 species recorded)

Coral Bells aka Coralita
Bush Morning Glory
Painted Spurge
Genus Lagascea
Asthma Plant
Tridax Daisy
Castor Bean
Blue Porterweed
Gale of the Wind
Porknut thorn bush
Whitemouth Dayflower
Browne's Blechum
Common Fanpetals
Lion's Ear
Brazilian Bachelor's Button
Caesar Weed
Erect Spiderling
LIttle Ironweed
Lobed Croton
Asian Spiderflower
Pyramid Flower
Graceful Spurge
Sacramento Bur
Common Fan petals
Devils Horsewhip

Species found on or inside of, the Fort structure itself (8 species recorded)
Bitter Panicgrass
Brown's Sword Fern
Dicot Tree, ID unknown
Small Dicot Tree with some red leaves, ID unknown
Noni seedling
Siam Weed, Chromolaena odorata
Spiny Fiddlewood
Monarch Fern

Plants growing near the lagoon pond (3 species recorded)

Tree of Little Stars
Beach Naupaka

FUNGI AND LICHENS (4 species recorded)
Common Lichens
Shelf Fungi
Ochre Spreading Tooth

ANIMALS OF EVERY KIND........................................................
MAMMALS, REPTILES, BIRDS (Only three species recorded so far)

Green Heron -- no photo possible

Domestic Cow -- a cow pat left behind
Schwartz' Anole
Butterflies (5 species recorded)

Cloudless Sulphur
Cramer's Scrub-Hairstreak
Tropical Checkered Skipper
White Peacock
Cassius Blue

Other insects (9 species recorded)
Band-winged Dragonlet, a dragonfly
Rambur's Forktail , a damselfly
Longhorn Crazy Ant
Liriomyza a leafminer fly mining in a Bougainvillea leaf
A leafminer in the Lantana leaves
A leafminer in Nodeweed leaves
A leafminer in leaves of Sacramento Burr
Pit-trapping Ant-Lions
Australian Cockroach

Bees and wasps (2 species recorded)
Western Honey Bee
Common on the Coralita
Stictia signata a species of sand wasp
Beetles (1 species recorded)
Beetle larva burrows in dead wood

Other arthropods (4 species recorded)
Blue Land Crab
Spinycbacked Orbweaver
Gall and Rust Mites
Eriophyes pluchea mites on leaves of Cure-for-all


Carrying an abandoned Fridge out of the woodland took 6 people.

Metal debris to be removed

An abandoned wheel

One of the houses

Publicado em 24 de abril de 2022, 05:11 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

Spiders from Saint Kitts and Nevis, April 2022

As an iNatter, when I visit somewhere I do my own bioblitz, and I try to make an observation of every species of organism that I come across. It is a bit haphazard as I don't deliberately search for any group other than seashells. However, I was able to find a few nice spiders while I was on this trip to KN, so I thought I would list them here. The IDs probably need some work.


Genus Nigma

Spiny Backed Orbweaver

Genus Neriene

Silver Garden Orbweaver

Garden Orbweavers

Spiny Backed Orbweaver

Theraphosine Tarantulas

Genus Cytopholis

Genus Clubiona Leaf-curling Sac Spiders

Publicado em 24 de abril de 2022, 05:09 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

Moths on Nevis April 2022

As well as the butterflies I recorded, I did also manage to find a few moths on Nevis, so I thought perhaps I would try to list them here. Some of the IDs may be incorrect. And many are incomplete.

Towards the end of the list I have included several observations which may be duplicate species. Since I know so little, this was in the hope that someone more expert can tell me what is what.

The first group of small drab moths are from a grazing area inland a short distance, an area which is rich in Desert Horse Purslane and Alkali Heliotrope. The second group of drab-colored moths is from an area on the upper beach platform which has mostly Beach Morning Glory. I am assuming that at least some of the moth species that are present in each area are using the dominant plant(s) as a food species for their larvae.


Genus Micrathetis

Cabbage Webworm Moth maybe

Crambid Moths

Owlet Moths and Allies

Hawaiian Beet Webworm Moth.

Genus Achyra

Achyra bipedalis

Achyra sp.

Bagworm Moths

More Bagworm Moths


Achyra bipedalis larva

Spotted Oleander Moth

Triplex Cutworm Moth

Genus Chrysoteuchia

Genus Urola

Triplex Cutworm Moth

Eublemma recta Straight-lined Seed Moth?

Crambid Snout Moths

Genus Eublemma recta Straight-lined Seed Moth ?

Genus Eublemma recta Straight-lined Seed Moth ?

Genus Micrathetis
NOTE: If you look at my observations, you will see that some of the moths are photographed in situ on vegetation. Others were captured in a BioQuip child's butterfly net, then chilled until they were torpid, photographed, allowed to warm up, and then released to fly away.

Publicado em 24 de abril de 2022, 05:07 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

16 de abril de 2022

Butterflies at Oualie on Nevis, April 2022

We could not visit Nevis last yearbecasue of extreme covid restrictions by KN,, so this is our first visit to Nevis since 2020. We are staying at Oualie Beach Resort, once again for four weeks for the fourth time. The hotel grounds are semi-wild, and they support quite a lot of nature. We have been here more than two weeks so far, so with luck there is still time (10 days) to see even more before we have to leave.

I did very well in the first two weeks with the butterflies, and managed to find several that I have never seen before at all, i.e. "lifers". Here is a list of the 15 species of butterflies which I have observed so far during this visit in April 2022, not including any of the moths that I have also seen.

15 butterfly species seen in April 2022

Great Southern White -- really large numbers of these, as usual

Cloudless Sulphur -- several of these, as usual, but they are very tough to photograph as it seems that they won't ever sit still. This photo from 2019.

Little Yellow, lots of these in the grazing areas. Some are more yellow than others -- some look almost all-white on the topside.

Monarch, every so often I see an adult, and I also found several larvae. One iNat person thought the larvae were of the Southern Monarch, but I think that species only lives in South America?

Gulf Fritillary -- at the Rest Haven ruins north of Charlestown I saw several of these flying around, but I was not able to get any photos. I saw several flying at the west end of the airport runway on Nevis also, but was unable to photograph any. This one is from 2019.

Long-tail Skipper -- a new species for me, very cool, and nectaring on Bermuda Rose, right outside our hotel room. LIFER

Hammock Skipper -- also very cool and a new species for me, also nectaring on Bermuda Rose, right outside our hotel room. LIFER

Monk Skipper -- two so far this visit. This photo from 2019.

Cramer's Scrub-Hairstreak -- four of these.

Columella Scrub-Hairstreak -- one only so far, new to me. LIFER

Angerona Hairstreak -- one only so far, new to me. LIFER

Miami Blue -- found once before in 2019.

Hanno Blue -- found once before in 2018.

White Peacock -- found once before in 2018. This photo from Sanibel, Florida.

Northern Tropical Buckeye --found once before in 2020.
This photo from 2020.

8 other Butterfly species seen on Nevis in previous years

There are eight other butterfly species that I have observed on Nevis in previous years:

Banded yellow -- in 2018.

Red Rim -- in 2018, and fairly far up the mountain. Not able to get a photo.

Cassius Blue -- 2018

Fiery Skipper -- 2019

Caribbean Scrub-Hairstreak -- 2019 on Majors Bay in St. Kitts

Florida Leafwing -- 2019

Tropical Checkered-Skipper -- 2020

Fiery Broken-Dash -- 2018

Before we leave St. Kitts & Nevis on April 30th, I will update these two lists as necessary.

NOTE: If you look at my observations, you will see that some of the butterflies are photographed on flowers or otherwise in situ. Others were captured in a BioQuip child's size butterfly net, then they were chilled until torpid, photographed, allowed to warm up, and then released to fly away.

Publicado em 16 de abril de 2022, 09:10 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 1 comentário | Deixar um comentário

04 de abril de 2022

Great to be here again!

So we came in on Saturday. Our flight was about an hour late and for the first time ever in 23 years it was raining when we arrived -- a great deal of cloud cover over the entire region. Five international flights had arrived at SKB all more or less at the same time -- that' pretty amazing.

It took a very long time to get a wheelchair, but in the airport checking all the documents was quite well set up. We needed to show our KN acceptance letter all three times -- in the health check, in Immigration, and in Customs.

We were met by Elmoth in a taxi and went to the IGA and bought a lot of groceries. Then he drove us up to Cockleshell Bay where there were really a lot of cars waiting! The water taxi came soon, but there was no free Ting or water this time.

We unloaded near Oualie on the new concrete pier, but we had to use Tin Tin Taxi to get us over to our room, number 221, called Pelican Point, with all our numerous bags, luggage plus a lot of grocery shopping.

Room looked good. Unpacked a little bit, but not much. Made dinner. Went to bed early.

Sunday I walked the grounds and made iNat observations. Also went in for a swim. And did almost all the unpacking.

Monday more observations around the hotel grounds and beach.

Really great to be here again!

Publicado em 04 de abril de 2022, 04:21 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

22 de março de 2022

April in Nevis

Hello Everyone,

I am packing for our trip this year to Nevis. We will have four weeks on Nevis, and those four weeks are going to be from April 2nd to April 30th. We will be staying at Oualie Beach Resort. As usual, I hope to make a lot of observations of every kind of organism I can find.

I can't wait to be back on Nevis. We did not go last year as the covid restrictions were too extreme for us.

We don't rent a car while we are there, so we usually don't end up going around a great deal, except in buses to and from town, etc.

If anyone is going to be on-island in April and would like to go out iNatting with me, message me on iNat. The internet connection at Oualie is not great, but I should be able to get messages at least to some extent, perhaps a bit slow, and sometimes a bit delayed.

Happy iNatting to everyone.

All good wishes,


Publicado em 22 de março de 2022, 01:56 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

06 de fevereiro de 2022

Signed up

I am glad to say that now we have a few new members for the project. I hope to find a few more people to join us as I go along. If you yourself know anyone who might be interested, please ask them if they would like to join our project. Joining does not in any way require a commitment of time or energy.

And, if you get the chance, please consider trying to turn people on to iNaturalist. Students at the Vet School and the Medical Schools of KN might be interested. After all, Veterinary Science, Medical Science and iNaturalist are all Life-Science-based studies!

Good work!

Susan Hewitt

Publicado em 06 de fevereiro de 2022, 04:05 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

14 de janeiro de 2022

Hello everyone!

It is nice to be able to help this very worthwhile project. I have been visiting Nevis every year since 1997, except for last year. I skipped my 2021 visit because of rather extreme Covid restrictions, which are now mostly lifted. I hope to visit Nevis again in spring of 2022, but only if the Omicron Covid-19 variant (or some other new variant) does not cause St. K & N to impose similarly strict restrictions once again.

When I am visiting Nevis, I usually do also spend some time on St. Kitts, although often those are just short visits on foot to Majors Bay via the Sea Bridge, or to Cockleshell Bay via the water taxi.

I would like to say hello to everyone who has contributed to this project so far, whether they live on St. Kitts & Nevis, or perhaps they just visit, or have visited, one or both islands, either on a one-time trip, or better yet the reoccurring kind. And hello and welcome to any iNat person who will end up visiting St. K & N at some point in the future. Everyone who has contributed observations to this project, or will be doing so, please seriously consider becoming a member of the project.

Also, please, if you make any observations of organisms that are "captive" (like the goats or sheep who roam freely over the landscape) or "cultivated" (like for example the Plumeria trees in people's gardens), mark all those observations as "not wild". The Green Monkeys count as wild even though they were originally introduced by humans a few hundred years ago.

It is perfectly OK (even desirable) to photograph weeds, pests, and plant diseases. It is also OK to photograph organisms when you haven't got a clue as to what they are, as long as you get a reasonably clear photo. Sound files can also serve as acceptable evidence of organisms such as birds, frogs, crickets etc.

Please feel free to make observations of organisms from anywhere on, or near, either of the two islands, from the beaches to the mountaintops, and every ecotype in between.

Good wishes to everyone.

Publicado em 14 de janeiro de 2022, 05:28 PM por susanhewitt susanhewitt | 1 comentário | Deixar um comentário