WE – at any age – can help butterflies and make a difference.
The number and the variety of butterflies are declining across the United States.
By learning more about butterflies, students can play a key role in protecting them now and in the future.
Let’s start today!
Butterflies of the Month
Martial Scrub Hairstreak
This butterfly is uncommon and rare (considered imperiled) in South Florida
- Scientific Name: Strymon martialis
- Wingspan: 1 1/8 – 1 3/8 inches.
- Life History: Young caterpillars feed on new leaves, flowers, and fruits; full-grown caterpillars can feed on older leaves.
- Caterpillar Host Plants: Florida trema and bay cedar
- Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including bay cedar, lantana, Brazilian pepper, shepherd’s needle, and lippia.
This large and striking butterfly is very abundant in South Florida
- Scientific Name: Papilio cresphontes
- Wingspan: 4 – 6.25 inches.
- Life History: Females lay single eggs on host leaves and twigs. Caterpillars resemble bird droppings.
- Caterpillar Host Plants: Trees and herbs of the citrus family (like wild lime), prickly ash, hop tree, and common rue.
- Adult Food: Nectar from lantana, azalea, bougainvillea, dame’s rocket, goldenrod, Japanese honeysuckle, and swamp milkweed
This is the state butterfly in Florida, and it is seen regularly in our geography
- Scientific Name: Heliconius charithonia
- Wingspan: 2 3/4 – 4 inches
- Life History: Eggs are laid in groups of 5-15 on host plant leaves. The caterpillar is white with black spots and black spines. Butterflies roost in groups of 25-30 individuals.
- Caterpillar Host Plants: Different types of Passion-vines including Passiflora suberosa and Passiflora incarnata
- Adult Food: Butterflies feed on both flower nectar and pollen, enabling them to survive far longer than most other butterflies. Favorite plants include lantana and shepherd’s needle.
Without insects, we’d be doomed. It’s time to make a happier home for them. Unfortunately, we humans are now in a position to declare victory in our long war on insects. The United Nations’ Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has found 1...