We sell "LIVE" butterflies for release at weddings, memorials and special occasions. 


Contact us at 239-690-2359 for further information. 


Requires a two week advanced notice.  Don't let this great option slip through your fingers.  CALL NOW !!

Hesperiidae Skippers


Phocides pigmalion Mangrove Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: American mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Adult Food: Nectar including that of mangrove, shepherd's needle, citrus, and bougainvillea flowers.


Epargyreus zestos Zestos Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Galactia in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including Bidens, Lantana, and Bougainvillea.


Epargyreus clarus Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Many woody legumes including black locust (Robinia pseudacacia), honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) and false indigo (Amorpha species). Also selected herbaceous legumes such s Glycyrrhiza species. Adult Food: The Silver-spotted Skipper almost never visits yellow flowers but favors blue, red, pink, purple, and sometimes white and cream-colored ones. These include everlasting pea, common milkweed, red clover, buttonbush, blazing star, and thistles


Polygonus leo Hammock Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: In Florida, Jamaican dogwood (Piscidia piscipula) and karum tree (Pongamia pinnata); other legumes elsewhere. Adult Food: Flower nectar.


Urbanus proteus Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Vine legumes including various beans (Phaseolus), hog peanuts (Amphicarpa bracteata), beggar's ticks (Desmodium), blue peas (Clitoria), and wisteria (Wisteria). Adult Food: Flower nectar from a variety of plants including bougainvillea, lantana, and shepherd's needle.



Urbanus dorantes Dorantes Longtail Caterpillar Hosts: Various plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including beggar's ticks (Desmodium), bush clover (Lespedeza), clover (Trifolium), lotus (Hosackia), and others. Adult Food: Usually nectar from blue, purple, pink, or white flowers including dogbane, selfheal, crown vetch, Japanese honeysuckle, thistles, common milkweed, Deptford pink, hoary vervain, and others.



Thorybes pylades Northern Cloudywing Caterpillar Hosts: Various plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including beggar's ticks (Desmodium), bush clover (Lespedeza), clover (Trifolium), lotus (Hosackia), and others. Adult Food: Usually nectar from blue, purple, pink, or white flowers including dogbane, selfheal, crown vetch, Japanese honeysuckle, thistles, common milkweed, Deptford pink, hoary vervain, and others.



Staphylus hayhurstii Hayhurst's Scallopwing Caterpillar Hosts: Lambsquarters (Chenopodium) in the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae), and occasionally chaff flower (Alternanthera) in the pigweed family (Amaranthaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from marigold, knotweed, spearmint, wild marjoram, cucumber, dogbane, white sweet clover, and white clover.



Erynnis juvenalis Juvenal's Duskywing Caterpillar Hosts: Tree and shrub oaks (Quercus species). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of winter cress, dandelion, wild plum, wisteria, blueberry, Carolina vetch, redbud, and lilac.



Erynnis horatius Horace's Duskywing Caterpillar Hosts: Both red and white oaks including willow oak (Quercus phellos), northern red oak (Q. velutina), scrub oak (Q. ilicifolia), water oak (Q. nigra), post oak (Q. stellata), and live oak (Q. virginiana). Adult Food: Horace's Duskywing visits flower up to about 4.5 feet tall including dogbane, buttonbush, sneezeweed, goldenrod, peppermint, boneset, and winter cress.



Erynnis zarucco Zarucco Duskywing Caterpillar Hosts: Herbaceous legumes including black locust (Robinia pseudacacia), hairy bush clover (Lespedeza hirta), Colorado River hemp (Sesbania exaltata), and Sesbania longifolia. Adult Food: Flower nectar including that from shepherd's needle.



Pyrgus communis Common Checkered-Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Several plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) including globemallows (Sphaeralcea), mallow (Malva), hollyhock (Althaea), alkali mallows (Sida), velvet-leaf (Abutilon), and poppy mallow (Callirhoe). Adult Food: Nectar from white-flowered composites including shepherd's needles, fleabane, and asters; also red clover, knapweed, beggar's ticks, and many others.



Pyrgus albescens White Checkered-Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Not reliably reported. Probably several plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) including globemallows (Sphaeralcea), velvet-leaf (Abutilon), and poppy mallow (Callirhoe). Adult Food: Nectar from a variety of plants.



Pyrgus oileus Tropical Checkered-Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Several plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) including axocatzin (Sida rhombifolia), mallow (Malva), hollyhock (Althaea rosea), velvet-leaf (Abutilon), and malva loca (Malvastrum). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of Sidas and small-flowered composites such as shepherd's needles.



Nastra lherminier Swarthy Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) Adult Food: Nectar from low-growing flowers including selfheal, red clover, tick trefoil, purple vetch, New Jersey tea, and peppermint.



Nastra neamathla Neamathla Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Probably grasses. Adult Food: Flower nectar. Cymaenes tripunctus Three-spotted Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Guinea grass (Panicum maximum). Adult Food: Flower nectar.



Lerema accius Clouded Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), wooly beard grass (Erianthus alopecturoides), and Echinochloa povietianum. Adult Food: Various pink, purple, or white flowers including shepherd's needle, selfheal, vervain, buttonbush, and lantana.



Ancyloxypha numitor Least Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including marsh millet (Zizaniopsis miliacea), rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), and cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). Adult Food: Flower nectar from low growing plants such as wood sorrel, swamp verbena, pickerelweed, chickory, and white clover.



Copaeodes minima Southern Skipperling Caterpillar Hosts: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers such as fine-leaved sneezeweed (Helenium tenuifolium).



Hylephila phyleus Fiery Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), crabgrass (Digitaria), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and other grasses. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of a variety of plants including sweet pepperbush, swamp milkweed, asters, sneezeweed, knapweed, ironweed, and thistles.



Hesperia attalus Dotted Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and fall witchgrass (Leptoloma cognatum). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of prickly pear cactus, alfalfa, thistles, and purple coneflower.



Atalopedes campestris Sachem Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), crabgrass (Digitaria), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and goosegrass (Eleusine). Adult Food: Nectar from many flowers including swamp and common milkweeds, buttonbush, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, tickseed sunflower, thistles, New York ironweed, marigold, and asters.



Polites themistocles Tawny-edged Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Panic grasses (Panicum), slender crabgrass (Digitaria filiformis), and bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including alfalfa, red clover, dogbane, shrub houstonia, purple coneflower, thistles, and chicory.



Polites vibex Whirlabout Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and thin paspalum (Paspalum setaceum). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including shepherd\'s needle and lantana.



Wallengrenia otho Southern Broken-Dash Caterpillar Hosts: Paspalum and St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including pickerelweed, selfheal, and sweet pepperbush.



Anatrytone logan Delaware Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and wooly beard grass (Erianthus divaricatus). Adult Food: Nectar from pink and white flowers including swamp and common milkweeds, shrub houstonia, mountain mint, marsh fleabane, sweet pepperbush, buttonbush, thistles, and pickerelweed.



Poanes aaroni Aaron's Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Possibly smooth cordgrass (Spartina alternifolia var. glabra). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including pickerelweed, salt marsh fleabane, and coreopsis.



Euphyes pilatka Palatka Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Sawgrass sedge (Cladium jamaicensis) Adult Food: Nectar of pickerelweed and other plants.



Euphyes arpa Palmetto Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including pickerelweed.



Euphyes vestris Dun Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various sedges including chufa flatsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and sun sedge (Carex heliophila). Adult Food: Nectar from white, pink, or purple flowers including common milkweed, purple vetch, selfheal, peppermint, dogbane, New Jersey tea, and viper's bugloss.



Asbolis capucinus Monk Caterpillar Hosts: Various palms including palmetto (Sabal), date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), and coconut (Cocos nucifera). Adult Food: Nectar from hibiscus and other large flowers.



Atrytonopsis hianna Dusted Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) and big bluestem (A. gerardi). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including Japanese honeysuckle, wild strawberry, blackberry, wild hyacinth, phlox, vervain, and red clover.



Lerodea eufala Eufala Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense), Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including croton, alfalfa, composites, lippia, and others.


Oligoria maculata Twin-spot Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses. Adult Food: Nectar including that from pickerelweed flowers.



Calpodes ethlius Brazilian Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various cultivated plants in the canna family (Marantaceae). Adult Food: Lantana in Arizona. In Costa Rica, nectar from large white or pale yellow flowers of woody lianas, trees, and shrubs.



Panoquina panoquin Salt Marsh Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Seashore saltgrass (Distichlis spicata). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including privet, sweet pepperbush, red clover, gumweed, lippia, salt marsh fleabane, blue mistflower, thistle, and verbena.


Panoquina panoquinoides Obscure Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of rattlebox and probably other flowers.



Panoquina ocola Ocola Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Rice (Oryza sativa), sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), and trompetilla grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of lantana, shepherd's needle, swamp milkweed, buttonbush, and pickerelweed.


Megathymus cofaqui Cofaqui Giant-Skipper Caterpillar Hosts: Bear grass (Yucca filamentosa), Spanish bayonet (Y. aloifolia), and Small's yucca (Y. smalliana). Adult Food: Adults do not feed, but males sip moisture from mud.



Papilionidae Parnassians and Swallowtails


Battus philenor Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Pipevines (Aristolochia species), including Aristolochia californica, A. serpentaria and others. Adult Food: Solely nectar from flowers including thistles (Cirsium species), bergamot, lilac, viper's bugloss, common azaleas, phlox, teasel, azaleas, dame's-rocket, lantana, petunias, verbenas, lupines, yellow star thistle, California buckeye, yerba santa, brodiaeas, and gilias.



Battus polydamas Polydamas Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Pipevines (Aristolochia species). Adult Food: Nectar of lantana. Occasionally seen feeding on honeysuckle and soapweed flowers.



Eurytides marcellus Zebra Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Shrubs of the genus Asimina (pawpaw) in the Annonaceae family. Young plants are preferred. Adult Food: Moisture from sand and nectar from flowers including blueberry, blackberry, lilac, redbud, viper's bugloss, verbena, dogbane, and common milkweed.



Papilio polyxenes Black Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Leaves of plants in the parsley family (Apiaceae) including Queen Anne's Lace, carrot, celery and dill. Sometimes plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae) are preferred. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including red clover, milkweed, and thistles.



Papilio glaucus Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), and redbay (Persea borbonia). Adult Food: Nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush.



Papilio troilus Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), and redbay (Persea borbonia). Adult Food: Nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush.



Papilio palamedes Palamedes Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Plants of the Laurel family (Lauraceae) especially redbay (Persea borbonia). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of sweet pepperbush, thistles, blue flag, and azalea.



Papilio cresphontes Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar Hosts: Trees and herbs of the citrus family (Rutaceae) including Citrus species, prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata), and Common Rue (Ruta graveolens). Adult Food: Nectar from lantana, azalea, bougainvilla, bouncing Bet, dame's rocket, goldenrod, Japanese honeysuckle, and swamp milkweed.



Pieridae Whites and Sulphurs


Pieris rapae Cabbage White Caterpillar Hosts: Many plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family and occasionally some in the caper family (Capparidaceae). Adult Food: Flower nectar from a very wide array of plants including mustards, dandelion, red clover, asters, and mints.


Pontia protodice Checkered White Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) including cabbage (Brassica oleraceae); and caper family (Capparidaceae) including Rocky Mountain bee-plant (Cleome serrulata). Adult Food: Flower nectar including hedge mustards, composites, and alfalfa. Ascia monuste


Great Southern White Caterpillar Hosts: Mustard family (Brassicaceae) plants including beach cabbage (Cakile maritima), cultivated cabbage and radish, peppergrass (Lepidium species); and plants in the caper family (Capparidaceae) including nasturtium. Adult Food: Nectar from many species of flowers including saltwort, lantana, and verbena


Colias eurytheme Orange Sulphur
Caterpillar Hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: Nectar from many kinds of flowers including dandelion, milkweeds, goldenrods, and asters. Habitat: A wide variety of open sites, especially clover and alfalfa fields, mowed fields, vacant lots, meadows, road edges.



Zerene cesonia Southern Dogface Caterpillar Hosts: Small-leaved plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including alfalfa (Medicago sativa); prairie clovers, indigo (Dalea), and clover (Trifolium) species. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including alfalfa, coreopsis, houstonia, and verbena.



Phoebis sennae Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar Hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from many different flowers with long tubes including cordia, bougainvilla, cardinal flower, hibiscus, lantana, and wild morning glory.


Phoebis agarithe Large Orange Sulphur Caterpillar Hosts: Pithecellobium and Inga species in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of lantana, shepherd's needle, bougainvilla, rose periwinkle, turk's cap, and hibiscus.



Phoebis philea Orange-barred Sulphur Caterpillar Hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from many different flowers.


Aphrissa statira Statira Sulphur Caterpillar Hosts: In Florida, Dalbergia ecastophyllum and Calliandra, both in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from red-flowered plants including scarlet bush.


Eurema daira Barred Yellow Caterpillar Hosts: Pencil flower (Stylosanthes biflora), joint vetches (Aeschynomene species), and other plants in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from a great variety of flowers including joint vetches and shepherd's needle.


Pyrisitia lisa Little Yellow Caterpillar Hosts: Partridge pea (Cassia fasciculata) and wild sensitive plant (C. nicitans) in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers in the aster family (Asteraceae) including goldenrods and asters.


Abaeis nicippe Sleepy Orange Caterpillar Hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from many species of flowers, including shepherd's needle (Bidens pilosa).


Nathalis iole Dainty Sulphur Caterpillar Hosts: Low-growing plants in the aster family (Asteraceae) especially shepherd's needle (Bidens pilosa), sneezeweed (Helenium), fetid marigold (Dyssodia), and cultivated marigold (Tagetes). Adult Food: Nectars at Labrador tea, asters, wild marigold, rabbitbrush, and others.



Lycaenidae Gossamer-wing Butterflies


Satyrium favonius Oak Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Various oaks (Quercus species). Adult Food: Flower nectar.


Electrostrymon angelia Fulvous Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) in the cashew family (Anacardiaceae). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of Brazilian pepper, shepherd\'s needle, and sea grape.



Calycopis cecrops Red-banded Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Fallen leaves of wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), dwarf sumac (Rhus copallina), staghorn sumac (R. typhina), and several oaks. Adult Food: Flower nectar from yarrow, wild cherry, tickseed sunflower, sumac, sweet pepperbush, New Jersey tea, common milkweed, and dogbane.



Strymon melinus Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Flowers and fruits from an almost endless variety of plants; most often from pea (Fabaceae) and mallow (Malvaceae) families including beans (Phaseolus), clovers (Trifolium), cotton (Gossypium), and mallow (Malva). Adult Food: Nectar from many flower species including dogbane, milkweed, mint, winter cress, goldenrod, tick trefoil, and white sweet clover.



Strymon martialis Martial Scrub-Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Florida trema (Trema micrantha) and bay cedar (Suriana maritima). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including bay cedar, lantana, Brazilian pepper, tournefortia, shepherd's needle, and lippia.



Strymon istapa Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in mallow family (Malvaceae) including alkali mallow (Sida hederacea) and coastal Indian mallow (Abutilon permolle); also bay cedar (Suriana maritima). Adult Food: Nectar from small-flowered trees and composites, croton.



Parrhasius m album White-M Hairstreak Caterpillar Hosts: Live oak (Quercus virginiana) and other oak species. Adult Food: Nectar from a variety of flowers including viburnum, sumac, sourwood, wild plum, poinsettia, sweet pepperbush, common milkweed, lantana, dogwood, and goldenrod.



Leptotes cassius Cassius Blue Caterpillar Hosts: Ornamental leadwort (Plumbago capensis), rattlebox (Crotalaria incana), hairy milk pea (Galactia volubilis), and lima bean (Phaseolus limensis). Larva has been reared on the crenulate lead plant, Amorpha crenulata. Adult Food: Nectar from shepherd's needle, lippia, and many other flowers.



Brephidium pseudofea Eastern Pygmy-Blue Caterpillar Hosts: Annual glassworts (Salicornia species) in the goosefood family (Chenopodiaceae). Adult Food: In Florida, nectar from palmetto palm and saltwort (Batis maritima) flowers.


Hemiargus ceraunus Ceraunus Blue Caterpillar Hosts: A variety of woody legumes including partridge pea (Cassia brachiata), mesquite (Prosopis species), and rosary pea (Abrus precatorius). Adult Food: Flower nectar.



Cyclargus thomasi Miami Blue Caterpillar Hosts: Balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum) in the Sapindaceae family, possibly snowberry (Chiococca alba), and various legumes. Adult Food: Flower nectar.



Riodinidae Metalmarks Calephelis virginiensis Little Metalmark Caterpillar Hosts: Yellow thistle (Cirsium horridulum). Adult Food: Short-flowered composites including yarrow, lance-leaved coreopsis, fine-leaved sneezeweed, and blue mist flower.



Nymphalidae Brush-footed Butterflies Libytheana carinenta American Snout Caterpillar Hosts: Several species of hackberry (Celtis). Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of aster, dogbane, dogwood, goldenrod, sweet pepperbush, and others.



Danaus plexippus Monarch Caterpillar Hosts: Milkweeds including common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and showy milkweed (A. speciosa); and milkweed vine in the tropics. Most milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and adult. These poisons are distasteful and emetic to birds and other vertebrate predators. After tasting a Monarch, a predator might associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid Monarchs in the future. Adult Food: Nectar from all milkweeds. Early in the season before milkweeds bloom, Monarchs visit a variety of flowers including dogbane, lilac, red clover, lantana, and thistles. In the fall adults visit composites including goldenrods, blazing stars, ironweed, and tickseed sunflower.



Danaus gilippus Queen Caterpillar Hosts: Milkweeds and milkweed vines. Some of the milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and adult. These poisons are distasteful and emetic to birds and other vertebrate predators. After tasting a Queen, a predator might associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid Queens in the future. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including milkweeds, fogfruit, and shepherd's needle.



Danaus eresimus Soldier Caterpillar Hosts: Milkweeds and milkweed vines. Adult Food: Flower nectar. Agraulis vanillae Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar Hosts: Various species of passion-vine including maypops (Passiflora incarnata) and running pop (P. foetida). Adult Food: Nectar from lantana, shepherd\'s needle, cordias, composites, and others.



Dryas iulia Julia Heliconian Caterpillar Hosts: Passion-vines including Passiflora lutea in Texas. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including lantana and shepherd's needle; probably others. Heliconius charithonia Zebra Heliconian Caterpillar Hosts: Passion-vines including Passiflora suberosa, P. lutea, and P. affinis. Adult Food: Flower nectar and pollen, which are gathered on a set foraging route or "trap-line". Favorite plants include lantana and shepherd's needle.



Euptoieta claudia Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar Hosts: A variety of plants in several families including maypops (Passiflora incarnata), may apple (Podophyllum peltata), violets (Viola), purslane (Portulaca), stonecrop (Sedum), and moonseed (Menispermum). Adult Food: Nectar from several plant species including butterflyweed, common milkweed, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, swamp milkweed, and tickseed sunflower.



Limenitis archippus Viceroy Flight: Two to three broods from May-September in most of its range, all year in Florida. Caterpillar Hosts: Trees in the willow family (Salicaceae) including willows (Salix), and poplars and cottonwoods (Populus).



Marpesia petreus Ruddy Daggerwing Caterpillar Hosts: Common fig (Ficus carica) and wild banyan tree (F. citrifolia) in the fig family (Moraceae). Adult Food: Nectar from giant milkweed in Florida; Cordia, Casearia, Lantana, and Mikania in the tropics.


Asterocampa celtis Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar Hosts: Various hackberries (Celtis species) and sugarberry (Celtis laevigata). Adult Food: Sap, rotting fruit, dung, carrion. Will take moisture at wet spots along roads and streams.


Asterocampa clyton Tawny Emperor Caterpillar Hosts: Trees of the elm family including Celtis occidentalis, C. tenuifolia, C. laevigata, C. lindheimeri, and C. reticulata. Adult Food: Tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, carrion. Tawny Emperors almost never visit flowers.



Eunica tatila Florida Purplewing Caterpillar Hosts: Not reported. Adult Food: Decaying fruit, nectar from Lantana and Cordia.



Phyciodes phaon Phaon Crescent Caterpillar Hosts: Fogfruit (Lippia lanceolata) and mat grass (Lippia nodiflora) in the verbena family. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of Lippia and composites including shepherd's needle.



Phyciodes tharos Pearl Crescent Caterpillar Hosts: Several species of smooth-leaved true asters including Aster pilosus, A. texanus, and A. laevis. Adult Food: Nectar from a great variety of flowers including dogbane, swamp milkweed, shepherd's needle, asters, and winter cress.



Anthanassa frisia Cuban Crescent Caterpillar Hosts: Shrimpflower (Beloperone guttata) in the acanthus family. Adult Food: Flower nectar.



Junonia co enia Common Buckeye Caterpillar Hosts: Plants from the snapdragon family including snapdragon (Antirrhinum) and toadflax (Linaria); the plantain family including plantains (Plantago); and the acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora). Adult Food: Favorite nectar sources are composites including aster, chickory, gumweed, knapweed, and tickseed sunflower. Dogbane, peppermint, and other flowers are also visited.


Junonia genoveva Mangrove Buckeye Caterpillar Hosts: Black-mangrove. Adult Food: Flower nectar. Anartia jatrophae White Peacock Caterpillar Hosts: Water hyssop (Bacopa), Ruellia, and Lippia. Adult Food: Shepherd's needle (Bidens pilosa) in Florida; Cordia, Casearia, and composites in Central America.



Siproeta stelenes Malachite Caterpillar Hosts: Cafetin (Blechum brownei) and ruellia (Ruellia coccinea) in the family Acanthaceae. Adult Food: Rotting fruit. Occasionally feeds on bird droppings and nectar from flowers of lianas, trees, and sometimes herbaceous plants. Malachites may feed all day long and may fly to flowers 38 feet high in the canopy.



Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark Caterpillar Hosts: American elm (Ulmus americanus), red elm (Ulmus rubra), hackberry (Celtis), Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus), nettles (Urtica), and false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica). Adult Food: Rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion. Only when these are unavailable do Question Marks visit flowers such as common milkweed, aster, and sweet pepperbush.



Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral Caterpillar Hosts: Plants of the nettle family (Urticaceae) including stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), tall wild nettle (U. gracilis), wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), pellitory (Parietoria pennsylvanica), mamaki (Pipturus albidus), and possibly hops (Humulus). Adult Food: Red Admirals prefer sap flows on trees, fermenting fruit, and bird droppings; visiting flowers only when these are not available. Then they will nectar at common milkweed, red clover, aster, and alfalfa, among others.



Vanessa cardui Painted Lady Caterpillar Hosts: More than 100 host plants have been noted; favorites include thistles (Asteraceae), hollyhock and mallow (Malvaceae), and various legumes (Fabaceae). Adult Food: The Painted Lady prefers nectar from composites 3-6 feet high, especially thistles; also aster, cosmos, blazing star, ironweed, and joe-pye weed. Flowers from other families that are visited include red clover, buttonbush, privet, and milkweeds.



Vanessa virginiensis American Lady Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the sunflower family everlasting (Gnaphalium obtusifolium), pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), plantain-leaved pussy toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia), wormwood (Artemisia), ironweed (Vernonia), and burdock (Arctium). Adult Food: Flower nectar almost exclusively, including dogbane, aster, goldenrod, marigold, selfheal, common milkweed, and vetch.



Neonympha areolatus Georgia Satyr Caterpillar Hosts: Probably sedges (Cyperaceae). Adult Food: Not reported.



Hermeuptychia sosybius Carolina Satyr Caterpillar Hosts: Carpet grass (Axonopus compressus), centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides); probably St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and others. Adult Food: Sap and rotting fruit.

Help us track the Monarch Migration!


The Florida Native Butterfly Society is an active member of the tracking program for a better understanding of the Monarch Butterfly. This important work is amplified by the drastic reduction in the natural population.


In fact, the annual migration of Monarchs allows scientists to count their numbers as they fly to their breeding grounds in Mexico. Numbers are determined by the amount of acres they inhabit as they roost. In the early 1990's over 22 acres of Monarchs huddled together, as a impressive display to the health of their kind. In 2013, less 6 acres remain.


You can learn more about how you can help. Contact us at 239-690-2359 Ext. 15

How long do butterflies live? 


Life expectancy depends on the size of the butterfly, the species of the butterfly, where it lives, and what time of year it became an adult.  The average life span of a butterfly is usually 2 - 3 weeks.  Although the smallest butterflies will usually only live about one week. 


Mourning Cloaks, some tropical Heliconians, and Monarchs are some of the only butterflies that have an average life span of about nine months.




Plan your perfect Southwest Florida Butterfly Garden!

All Butterflies and Moths have a "HOST PLANT".

These plants are the only species of plants that allow their caterpillars to survive. You can plan a extremely successful garden by adding these plants to your yard to attract specific species. Butterflies have highly developed eyes and will see your garden as a great place to start a family.

Butterflies of Lee County, Florida, United States

The BAMONA database currently includes verified sighting records for 99 butterfly species from this region.Discover the Lepidoptera in your community by visiting Butterfliesandmoths.org!

Butterflies and Moths of Southwest Florida

Designing a productive butterfly garden is one of the most satisfying and beautiful additions you can make to any property. Private residents achieve instant curb appeal as your yard becomes active with the beautiful colors of what some call flying flowers. Southwest Florida is home to a vast array of Lepidoptera!


Incorporating butterfly gardens in commercial applications allows you to provide appealing attributes to your residents. Our staff guides you through this fun process and can provide you with all the best pesticide free host and nectar plants. Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful natural retreat with the flutter of colorful wings and a place for you and your guests to enjoy for many years to come.

We are happy to provide you and your organization free help with planning your butterfly garden.

Please call 239-690-2359 Ext. 15

Services

Subscribe to our awesome mailing list!

* indicates required


Attn:   College and High School Students – Needing Volunteer Hours?
           Retirees and Gardners – Looking to lend a helping hand?
           College Students looking for an Intern Program Opportunity?
For more information please contact us at volunteer@floridanativebutterflies.org