|With a name like "The Sunshine State," Florida is a great place to observe butterflies. Much of Florida's abundant butterfly life and species diversity is directly related to climate and geography. Totaling 58,560 square miles, this primarily long, narrow state represents the southernmost portion of the Southeast Coastal Plain. It has some 1,350 miles of coast and is literally surrounded on all but one side by warm marine waters. This helps to temper the severity of the seasons and provides a prolonged growing period. Also, Florida extends through a broad latitudinal gradient. The result is a significant variation in climate from warm temperate in the north to nearly tropical in the south.