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  Red Admiral      Vanessa atalanta     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The Red Admiral is a medium-sized dark butterfly that is quickly distinguished from any other species by its distinctive red forewing band. Particularly common in spring, the butterfly will readily explore suburban gardens. Adults have a quick, erratic flight. Males frequently perch on low vegetation or on the ground in sunlit locations. The larvae construct individual shelters on the host by folding together one or more leaves with silk.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Zebra Longwing      Heliconius charitonius     Brush-Foots:
Longwing Butterflies
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Comments:
The Zebra Longwing is the state butterfly of Florida. Aptly named, it is quickly identified by the yellow-white stripes and extremely elongated wings. It rarely spends long periods of time in open, sunny locations but is an abundant visitor to shadier gardens and yards. Adults have slow, graceful flight, and adeptly maneuver through dense vegetation. A member of a primarily tropical genus, it cannot endure prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures. Adults are extremely long-lived and may survive for several months.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Red-Spotted Purple      Limenitis arthemis astyanax     Brush-Foots:
Admirals and Relatives
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Comments:
The Red-Spotted Purple, although lacking a hindwing tail, mimics the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail to gain protection from would-be predators. It is a common butterfly of immature woodlands but is rarely encountered in large numbers. Adults have a strong, gliding flight and are often quite wary. Males perch on sunlit branches along trails or forest borders and make periodic exploratory flights. Adults occasionally visit flowers but often prefer rotting fruit, dung, carrion or tree sap.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Carolina Satyr      Hermeuptychia sosybius     Brush-Foots:
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
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Comments:
Appearing more like a drab moth, the Carolina Satyr is a small brown butterfly with a low, weak flight. Common throughout the Southeast, the species shows up regularly in many residential yards. Between periodic bursts of activity, adults perch on grasses or leaf litter with their wings tightly closed. With care, they can be easily approached for observation. Males readily patrol for females.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Gemmed Satyr      Cyllopsis gemma     Brush-Foots:
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
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Comments:
Often overlooked, the Gemmed Satyr is one of the most attractive members of the subfamily Satyrinae (satyrs and wood nymphs) in Florida with its beautifully marked hindwings. It is the only Florida satyr without eyespots. It dances along the forest floor with a weak, low flight. Although difficult to follow through the understory vegetation, adults regularly alight on grass blades or leaf litter. The slender larvae have both a green and brown form.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Georgia Satyr      Neonympha areolata     Brush-Foots:
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
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Comments:
Unusually colorful, the Georgia Satyr tends to be less frequently encountered than most of its common cousins. Adults have a low, weak flight and bob slowly among the tall grasses and surrounding vegetation. Although often localized and spotty in distribution, the butterfly cannot be confused with any other satyr or wood nymph in the state. Little detailed information is available about the biology and behavior of the species including the exact larval hosts utilized in the wild.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Viola's Wood Satyr      Megisto viola     Brush-Foots:
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
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Comments:
Viola's Wood Satyr scurries along the forest floor with a quick, bobbing flight and periodically lands on leaf litter or low vegetation with wings tightly closed. Like most satyrs, it does not visit flowers but instead is drawn to sap flows and rotting fruit. The large yellow-rimmed eyespots presumably help deflect attack away from the insect's vulnerable body. With even a good portion of its wing missing, the butterfly can still fly and will live to see another day.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  American Snout      Libytheana carinenta     Brush-Foots:
Snouts
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Comments:
The American Snout gets its name from the unusually long labial palpi that resemble an elongated nose. This unique feature, combined with the cryptic coloration of the wings beneath enhances the butterfly's overall "dead leaf" appearance when at rest. Adults have a rapid, somewhat erratic flight and are commonly drawn to flowers. Males readily puddle at damp ground. Although often common, it is seldom encountered in large numbers.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Common Buckeye      Junonia coenia     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The Common Buckeye is one of the most easily identified butterflies. Its large, target-shaped eyespots help deflect predation away from the insects' vulnerable body. It is fond of open, sunny locations with low-growing vegetation. Adults frequently alight on bare soil or gravel but are extremely wary and difficult to approach. Males readily establish territories and actively investigate passing objects. Flight is rapid and low to the ground. Unable to withstand freezing temperatures in any life stage, the Buckeye annually undertakes a southward fall migration and overwinters in warmer Gulf Coast locations including Florida.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Hackberry Butterfly      Asterocampa celtis     Brush-Foots:
Emperors
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Comments:
The Hackberry Butterfly has a strong, rapid flight and rarely ventures out into open areas. Males readily establish territories. They perch on sunlit leaves, overhanging branches or tree trunks along forest trails and woodland edges, and dart out to engage passing objects or make exploratory flights. Adults are drawn to sap flows or rotting fruit. Although often spotty in distribution, the species can be relatively abundant when encountered.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Common Wood Nymph      Cercyonis pegala     Brush-Foots:
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
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Comments:
The Common Wood Nymph is a mediumsized butterfly primarily encountered in open, grassy meadows and fields, though it may also be found in forest clearings and margins. Within the state, it is infrequent and often highly localized. Adults have a low, relaxed flight and bob erratically through the vegetation. Well camouflaged when resting, it can be a challenge to locate or follow. Unlike most satyrs, it is an opportunistic feeder and frequently visits flowers along with sap flows and fermenting fruit.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Tawny Emperor      Asterocampa clyton     Brush-Foots:
Emperors
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Comments:
The Tawny Emperor is superficially similar to the Hackberry Butterfly with which it flies. Adults are rapid, strong fliers and often difficult to approach. Males perch on sunlit leaves or on the sides of large trees and dart out quickly to investigate passing objects. The developing larvae remain together and feed communally through the first three instars before becoming more solitary.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Mangrove Buckeye      Junonia evarete     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The Mangrove Buckeye is found throughout the Keys and coastal areas of the southern mainland, and is locally abundant. Adults have a low, rapid flight and often alight on bare soil or low vegetation. Males establish territories and actively investigate passing intruders. Adults can be found year-round.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Malachite      Siproeta stelenes     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
Named for the mineral of the same color, the Malachite is considered by many to be the most beautiful butterfly in Florida. A relatively recent colonist to the state, it was a rare find prior to 1965. Now, it is locally common throughout the extreme southern counties. The butterfly is found along the weedy edges of tropical hammocks and within overgrown commercial nurseries and fruit groves. It is a large butterfly with a fast, powerful flight. Adults prefer rotting fruit instead of flower nectar. It is the only large butterfly in Florida with green markings.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Pearl Crescent      Phyciodes tharos     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The lovely tawny-orange Pearl Crescent is our most widespread and abundant crescent. It is seasonally variable, and spring and fall individuals are darker and more heavily patterned on the ventral hindwings. It is an opportunistic breeder, continually producing new generations as long as favorable conditions allow. It has a rapid, erratic flight. Males perch on low vegetation with wings outstretched and frequently patrol for females. Freshly emerged males often gather at moist ground.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Phaon Crescent      Phyciodes phaon     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The Phaon Crescent remains close to its low-growing host. Adults have a low, rapid flight and are easily disturbed. Males perch on low vegetation and frequently patrol for females. They occasionally gather at moist ground. The larvae are gregarious when young but become solitary towards maturity.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Variegated Fritillary      Euptoieta claudia     Brush-Foots:
Longwing Butterflies
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Comments:
The medium-sized Variegated Fritillary shares its affinity for open, sunny habitats with the similar-looking Gulf Fritillary but is generally less common and highly local in occurrence. Adults have low, erratic flight but regularly stop to nectar at available flowers. It is an occasional garden visitor.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Painted Lady      Vanessa cardui     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The Painted Lady, a resident of northern Mexico, annually colonizes much of North America each year before migrating south again in the fall. Although abundance varies from year to year, it is infrequently encountered in Florida. It is a butterfly of open disturbed sites, but may be found in most habitats when dispersing. The larvae construct individual shelters of loose webbing on host leaves.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  American Painted Lady      Vanessa virginiensis     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
Considered a common butterfly, the American Painted Lady is often overlooked despite its attractiveness. The intricately detailed, agate-like design on the underside of the wings is a sharp contrast to the bold orange and black pattern above. Nervous and wary, it is difficult to approach and a challenge to closely observe. When disturbed, it takes off in a low, erratic flight but often returns to a nearby location just a few moments later. The larvae construct individual shelters on the host by spinning together leaves and flowerheads with silk. Inside, the larvae safely rest when not actively feeding.
  butterfly_image
Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Question Mark      Polygonia interrogationis     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
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Comments:
The Question Mark's dark markings, irregular wing edges and cryptically colored undersides help the butterfly resemble a dead leaf when resting. Adults have a strong, rapid flight but frequently alight on overhanging branches, tree trunks or leaf litter. Wary and nervous, they are often difficult to closely approach. Males readily establish territories and aggressively investigate any passing objects. Both sexes visit rotting fruit, dung, carrion and tree sap.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Goatweed Butterfly      Anaea andria     Brush-Foots:
Leafwings
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Comments:
Named after its larval host, the Goatweed Butterfly has a leaf-like pattern on the wings below. Rarely encountered in large numbers, adults have a strong, rapid flight. Adults perch with their wings closed on the trunks of trees, branches or on the ground and can be quite a challenge to find, let alone closely approach. The butterfly prefers rotting fruit and sap over flower nectar. It produces distinct seasonal forms.
  butterfly_image
Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Gulf Fritillary      Agraulis vanillae     Brush-Foots:
Longwing Butterflies
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Comments:
The Gulf Fritillary's hindwings below are beautifully decorated with numerous silvery, mercurylike patches that quickly distinguish it from the equally common Monarch. It readily stops to nectar at colorful flowers and is an abundant garden visitor. Adults have a low, rapid flight. The Gulf Fritillary is one of several migratory species in the Southeast. During the fall, adults migrate southward in large numbers and overwinter in southern portions of the state.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Viceroy      Limenitis archippus     Brush-Foots:
Admirals and Relatives
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Comments:
The colorful Viceroy has a quick, gliding flight and is often wary and difficult to closely approach. Males perch on overhanging branches and occasionally dart out to explore their territory or investigate passing objects. Unlike those found throughout most of the eastern United States, the Florida subspecies is a darker, rich mahogany brown and more closely resembles the Queen. Together, the Viceroy, Queen and Monarch form a Mullerian mimicry complex in which all three species are highly distasteful or toxic to certain predators. Bright orange Viceroys can often be found in north Florida.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Florida Leafwing      Anaea floridalis     Brush-Foots:
Leafwings
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Comments:
Endemic to southern portions of the state, the boldly colored Florida Leafwing has a strong, powerful flight. Living up to its name, the shape, color and pattern of the wings below closely resemble a dead leaf and provide excellent camouflage from would-be predators. Found alongside Bartram's Hairstreak as both species utilize the same larval host. Sporadic in occurrence, the butterfly is often locally common but rarely seen in large numbers.
  butterfly_image
Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Queen      Danaus gilippus     Brush-Foots:
Milkweed Butterflies
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Comments:
The Queen, while superficially similar in appearance to the closely related Monarch, does not undertake massive annual migrations. Adults have a slow, soaring flight and are fond of flowers. It is a frequent garden visitor and typically rests and feeds with wings closed. The larvae feed on plants in the Milkweed family and sequester various chemicals that render the butterfly highly distasteful to certain predators.
  butterfly_image
Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Julia      Dryas iulia     Brush-Foots:
Longwing Butterflies
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Comments:
A primarily tropical species, the Julia is a rapid flier that easily maneuvers among dense forest vegetation. Males actively patrol woodland edges, trails and adjacent open areas for females. Strongly attracted to flowers, adults readily stop at available flowers to nectar but rarely remain at any one blossom for long. They are particularly fond of Lantana and Shepherd's Needle (Bidens alba). Unlike most other longwing butterflies, the Julia has a relatively short lifespan, surviving only a few weeks as an adult.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Ruddy Daggerwing      Marpesia petreus     Brush-Foots:
Admirals and Relatives
butterfly_image  
Comments:
The Ruddy Daggerwing is a resident of the Keys but is much more commonly encountered on the south Florida mainland. Males commonly perch on sunlit leaves or overhanging branches along forest trails, light gaps or hammock borders. Adults readily visit available flowers.
  butterfly_image
Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Monarch      Danaus plexippus     Brush-Foots:
Milkweed Butterflies
butterfly_image  
Comments:
The Monarch is undoubtedly the most familiar and widely recognized butterfly in North America. The species' annual fall mass migration is one of the greatest natural events undertaken by any organism on earth. Adults have a strong, soaring flight and it is an abundant garden visitor. The striped larvae feed on plants in the Milkweed family from which they sequester toxic chemicals that render them highly distasteful to certain predators. The adult butterflies advertise this unpalatability in dramatic fashion with their bold orange and black coloration.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  White Peacock      Anartia jatrophae     Brush-Foots:
True Brush-Foots
butterfly_image  
Comments:
The White Peacock, although widespread, is often somewhat local in occurrence. Adults have a fast, erratic flight usually within a few feet of the ground and readily alight on low vegetation. They avidly visit available flowers. Adults can be found year-round in south Florida.
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Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   
         
  Southern Pearly Eye      Enodia portlandia     Brush-Foots:
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
butterfly_image  
Comments:
The Southern Pearly Eye is Florida's largest satyr. Adults have a quick, bobbing flight and frequently alight on low vegetation or leaf litter. The butterfly has a spotty distribution but may be locally abundant when found. Like most satyrs, adults do not visit flowers. They instead prefer to feed at sap flows, rotting fruit, decaying vegetation and dung.
  butterfly_image
Dorsal (Top View) on left.
Ventral (Bottom View) on right.
   
   
   

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