Edit: 1 Aug 2009
Manatee Park, Lee County Parks and Recreation, has a wonderful and extensive butterfly garden. The dominate butterfly this morning was Battus polydamas. We were even afforded great looks at a grazing Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostrus). A fantastic morning to finish our peninsular-Florida excursion.
White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae), Lee County Manatee Park, 1 Aug 2009
This tropical species is common in south Texas, and was fairly common during our FL stay. There were moments shared with this insect that proved difficult to avert my gaze. Had I forgotten how beautiful it truly is? Do the marginal and submarginal bands show more orange than I remember..?
Anyhow, certainly a familiar species to Heidi and myself but some of these FL individuals were attention-grabbing. As if conveying "Look at me. You can forget all the rest for the moment. Look. ..."
Edit: 31 July 2009
Okay, so the butterflies haven't necessarily picked up in density, it has gotten better and we have added a few more species to the list.
The following was one we were really hoping to get:
Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia genoveva), Gasparilla I., FL
This individual may have been on it's last day or two of life regarding this particular plane of existance; however, it did allow us to photograph it. Definitely a life-bug for Heidi and myself.
The next species is a skipper native to Cuba introduced into FL yrs ago:
Monk Skipper (Asbolis capucinus), Gasparilla I., FL
Not a whole lot to this guy. A fairly large, orange-brown skipper with faint, thin white margins on the hindwing.
The hostplant for this species are ornamental palms. God knows there are plenty of those around this area so its doing quite well in the southern two-thirds of the state. Also a new species for the team.
Edit: 30 July 2009
Mangrove Skipper/Beamer ( Phocides pigmalion), outside of condo, Boca Grande, Lee Co., FL
Listed as a Species of Special Concern by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). New species for both of us.
Zebra Heliconian, state butterfly of Florida
It would appear that Heidi and I arrived in sw Florida at less than "peak" butterfly season. Nevertheless, the leps that we have crossed paths with have been quite enjoyable.
Wings of one deceased dragonfly-snack, a Faithful Beauty. A spectacular diurnal moth, it belonging to the tiger moth family and reaches the US only in southern Florida. A new moth for us, we certainly would have been thrilled with a live subject; but hey, times are tough and odonates have to eat too.
Hammock Skipper, new species for H and me.
Red-banded Hairstreak. Widespread in the southeast, but always a striking photo subject
Fulvous Hairstreak, definitely a new sp. for us. This bug was apparantly introduced from the West Indies in the 1970's. *(Brock & Kaufman, 2003)
Pic taken at Everglades NP Visitors Center
In no taxonomical order:
Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus), seemingly the "Blue" out here thus far
Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes), the dominate swallowtail flying right now
Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus), a new "whitish"swallowtail for us
Dainty Sulpher (Nathalus iole)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Vanessa sp., only one thus far
Cloudless Sulpher (Phoebis sennae)
Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco), the duskywing that has thus far cooperated to be id'ed
Queen (Danaus gilippus), recently have been seing a few
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), common
Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)
White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae), appearances in the 'glades
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus floridensis)
Tropical Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus oileus), many in the glades
Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor), a neat flight of a group of ~10 near and under a boardwalk in the 'glades
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Large Orange Sulpher (Phoebis agarithe), common flyer in the 'glades
HAMMOCK SKIPPER, (Polygonus leo) Key Largo Botanical Gardens
Julia Heliconian (Dryas iulia) KL Bot. Gardens
Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho)
Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)
FULVOUS HAIRSTREAK (Electrostrymon angelia)
Zebra Heliconian (Heliconius charithonia)
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), no Trop or Mangrove yet.
MANGROVE SKIPPER (Phocides pigmalion), Boca Grande. 31 July
Monk Skipper (Asbolis capucinus), Boca Grande, 31 July
MANGROVE BUCKEYE (Junonia genoveva) Boca Grande, 31 July
Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius), Boca Grande, 31 July
POLYDAMAS SWALLOWTAIL (Battus polydamas) , 1 Aug, many at Manatee Park, Lee Co.
Orange Sulpher (Colias eurytheme), 1 Aug
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio triolus), 1 Aug
Little Yellow (Pyrisitia lisa), 1 Aug
White-tipped Black Moth(Melanochroia chephise), Myakka River SP & Boca Grande
Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata), one flushed on densly vegetated trail at KLargo Bot. Garden, and one male deceased at Boca Grande
Faithful Beauty Moth (Composia fidelissima), well its wings, Everglades Visitor Center
*Brock J.M. and Kaufman K., 2003, Butterflies of North America.