University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #WEC 22

Butterfly Gardening in Florida1

Jaret C. Daniels, Joe Schaefer, Craig N. Huegel, and Frank J. Mazzotti2

Background

Planting a butterfly garden is a great way to beautify your yard and help attract many of the different butterflies found in Florida. Most butterfly gardens are also a magnet for hummingbirds and beneficial insects. A productive butterfly garden does not require a large land area—even a few key plants can make a huge impact.

Whether confined to a patio container or sprawled over several acres, a butterfly garden can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. The same basic concepts apply, regardless of the size. The most important thing to understand is that different butterfly species have different requirements, and these requirements change throughout their life cycles. A well-planned butterfly garden should appeal to many different butterflies and also cater to both the adults and their larvae (caterpillars). Proper garden design and choice of plants are essential. Such decisions will help influence which butterflies are attracted, remain in the area, and reproduce there.

The total butterfly garden takes into account the food preferences of both adult butterflies and their larvae (caterpillars). Most adult butterflies feed on flower nectar and will be attracted to a wide variety of different flowers. Their larvae (caterpillars), though, rely on specific plants called host plants for food and are often greatly limited in the number of plants on which they can feed. Host plants may also provide shelter, camouflage, chemicals used for protection, courtship, and reproduction. It is not necessary to include larval host plants to attract butterflies, but adults tend to stay fairly close to the areas where their larval food plants can be found.

All of this requires planning. There are a few basic rules to follow. You can be as creative as you wish, but you must start with a plan that considers the requirements of the butterflies you wish to attract and the plants you will use to lure them.

Butterfly gardening is an exacting (not difficult) pursuit and must be based on butterfly preferences—not human ones. Luckily, butterfly and human favorites are mostly compatible.

Butterfly Facts and Biology

There are more than 765 species of butterflies found in North America north of Mexico. Florida boasts over 180 verified butterfly species representing some 170 native or newly established species and 17 tropical vagrants. Within that mix, around 40 are considered either unique to the state or occur mostly within its boundaries. This diverse butterfly fauna is the highest of any state east of the Mississippi River and helps make Florida a premier location for butterfly gardeners.

All butterflies have a life cycle consisting of four distinct stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult. Female butterflies lay their eggs on or near an appropriate larval host plant. The eggs typically hatch within a few days and the small larvae begin to feed. Butterfly larvae have enormous appetites and grow rapidly. To accommodate the change in proportions, each larva will molt or shed its skin several times. The appearance of the larva may change after each molt. When fully grown, the larva seeks a sheltered place. It typically attaches itself with silk to a leaf or twig and it molts for the last time into the pupa. During this stage, the once worm-like caterpillar transforms into a winged adult.

Adult Butterfly Resources

Most adult butterflies found in Florida rely on flower nectar for food. While many tend to be attracted to a variety of available brightly colored blossoms, different butterfly species have distinct color preferences, feeding behaviors, and proboscis lengths. (The butterfly's proboscis is like a long coiled straw used to sip liquid nectar from flowers.) These factors help determine which flowers a butterfly visits. As a rule, small butterflies nectar from small flowers and large butterflies nectar from larger ones. Some butterflies flutter like a hummingbird while feeding, pausing only briefly at each flower. They can often gain access to nectar in long tubular blossoms. Others rest for some time on each blossom. A wide mix of flower colors, shapes, and sizes provides appealing and accessible food to a greater number of butterfly species. It also makes your garden more eye-catching.

Adults of some butterfly species rarely or never visit flowers. They feed instead on tree sap, or the fermenting juices from rotting fruit or plant material, animal dung (droppings), and dead animal remains.

Larval Resources

Larval (caterpillar) host plants are also key ingredients to any well-designed butterfly garden. They are often not as showy as nectar plants, nor are they even necessary to attract adult butterflies. But a garden without larval host plants ignores the requirements of the butterfly's life cycle. While nectar plants invite butterflies into your garden, host plants offer them a reason to stay and reproduce.

Unlike nectar plants though, larval host plants must be tailored to individual butterfly species. So, unless you have acres of land at your disposal, you will need to be selective in your plant choice. Remember also that larval host plants are meant to be eaten. You will see damaged leaves or even some plants that are completely defoliated. Keep in mind that this is a good thing. It means that your butterfly garden is being productive. Within no time, most plants will recover and soon be able to support new larvae. Lastly, don't forget that butterfly larvae feed exclusively on their host plants. They will not cause damage to other landscape plants or become horrible garden pests.

Be careful when buying larval host plants as many nurseries use pesticides. These chemicals can be deadly to butterfly larvae. When in doubt, always ask if the plants you wish to purchase have been treated with pesticides. Similarly, be very careful when using pesticides in your garden. If you must use chemicals to control pest insects, use them sparingly and only treat the infected plant.

Planning Your Garden

Planting a productive butterfly garden is not hard, but it does require proper planning and a little basic research. Although Florida boasts over 180 different butterflies, you can't attract species that do not naturally occur in your region, nor can you grow plants that aren't adapted to the soils and climate in your region. To help get started, follow these easy steps to plan your garden.

Your Butterfly Region Map

Look at the map provided (Figure 1) and determine the region in which you live.

Figure 1. 

Your Butterfly Region Table(s)

Then, look for your region in the Florida butterflies tables (Tables 1-6), highlight the species that occur in your area, and use habitats that can be found within 1/4 mile of the site you are considering for your butterfly garden.

Butterfly nectar plants by region. Table 7 lists butterfly nectar plants for North and Central Florida (regions 1-4). Table 8 lists butterfly nectar plants for South Florida (regions 5-7).

Keys to using the tables

Determine the larval and adult foods for each species from the tables. Butterflies tend to stay fairly close to the areas where their natural larval food plants can be found.

The "flight season" indicates the months when the adults are active.

Note: If you are not interested in trying to attract the greatest variety of butterflies, you can select plants from the butterfly nectar sources listed at the end of this publication. This approach will help you to create a beautiful garden that also is appealing to some butterfly species.

Keys to the tables

Table 1. Swallowtails (Family Papilionidae)

Table 2. Whites and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

Table 3. Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

Table 4. Metalmark Butterflies (Family Riodinidae)

Table 5. Brush-footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

Table 6. Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

Table 7. Butterfly Nectar Plants. North and Central Florida: Regions 1–4.

Table 8. Butterfly Nectar Plants. South Florida: Regions 5–7.

Selected References

Allen, T. J., Brock, J. P. and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to Butterfly Caterpillars of North America. Oxford University Press, 240 pp.

Cech, R. and G. Tudor. 2007. Butterflies of the East Coast: An Observer's Guide. Princeton University Press. 360 pp.

Daniels, J.C. 2000. Your Florida Guide to Butterfly Gardening: A Guide for the Deep South. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 104 pp.

Daniels, J. C. 2003. Butterflies of Florida Field Guide. Adventure Publications, Cambridge, Minnesota. 250 pp.

Gerberg, E. J., and R. H. Arnett, Jr. 1989. Florida Butterflies. Natural Science Publications, Inc., Baltimore. 90 pp.

Glassberg, J., Minno, M. C. and J. V. Calhoun. 2000. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field, Finding, and Gardening Guide to Butterflies in Florida. Oxford University Press. 256 pp.

Minno, M. C., Butler, J. F. and D. W. Hall. 2005. Florida Butterfly Caterpillars and Their Host Plants. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 341 pp.

Minno, M. C. and M. Minno. 1999. Florida Butterfly Gardening: A Complete Guide to Attracting, Identifying, and Enjoying Butterflies. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 224 pp.

Tables

Table 1. 

Swallowtails (Family Papilionidae)

SPECIES

REGIONS

HABITATS

FLIGHT SEASON

 

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

1-6

fields, gardens, wetlands, woodlands

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants and vines (Aristolochiaceae) including Virginia Snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria) and Woolly Dutchman's Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Polydamus Swallowtail (Battus polydamus)

2-7

disturbed areas, urban parks, gardens, fields

All year

Larval Host Plants: Native and non-native vines (Aristolochiaceae) including Woolly Dutchman's Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa) and Calico Flower (Aristolochia littoralis)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

1-6

scrubs, woodlands, fields, pastures

Feb-Dec

Larval Host Plants: Shrub Annonaceae—Pawpaw (Asimina spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar. Adults have short proboscis

 

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

1-7

wetlands, open areas, gardens, fields, roadsides

Feb-Nov

Larval Foods: Herbaceous plants—wild and cultivated Apiaceae including Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), and Mock Bishopsweed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Giant Swallowtail (Heraclides [Papilio] cresphontes)

1-7

open areas, forest margins, citrus groves

Feb-Nov

Larval Foods: Shrubs and Trees (Rutaceae) including Common Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata), Wild Lime (Zanthoxylum fagara), Hercules-club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), and cultivated citrus (Citrus spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Schaus' Swallowtail (Heraclides [Papilio] aristodemus ponceanus) – endangered (federal and state)

6-7

tropical hardwood hammocks

May-July

Larval Host Plants: Trees—(Rutaceae) including Torchwood (Amyris elemifera) and Wild Lime (Zanthoxylum fagara)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

1-6

woodlands, forest margins, stream corridors, parks, gardens

Mar-Nov

Larval Foods: Trees—Ash (Fraxinus spp.), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sweetbay (magnolia virginiana)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

1-7

forest margins, wetlands, fields, gardens

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Bays (Persea spp.), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum); Shrubs - Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Palamedesl Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes)

1-6

swamps, wetlands, woodlands, forest margins

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Bays (Persea spp.) including Red Bay (Persea borbonia)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

Table 2. 

Whites and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

SPECIES

REGIONS

HABITATS

FLIGHT SEASON

 

Florida White (Appias drusilla)

5-7

tropical hardwood hammocks

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs—Bayleaf Capertree (Capparis flexuosa) and Guiana Plum (Drypetes lateriflora)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Checkered White (Pontia protodice)

1-7

disturbed sites, fields, roadsides, fallow agricultural land

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Mustards (Brassicaceae) including Virginia Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

1-7

gardens, fields, disturbed sites, roadsides

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—wild and cultivated Brassicaceae including Virginia Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum), Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)

2-7

beaches, salt marshes, coastal strand, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Virginia Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum), Saltwort (Batis maritima), Coastal Searocket (Cakile lanceolata); Shrubs—Bayleaf Capertree (Capparis flexuosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

1-7

open areas, roadsides, disturbed sites, alfalfa fields

Mar-Dec

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Fabaceae) including White Sweetclover (Melilotus albus) and Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)

1-6

sandhills, scrub, flatwoods

All year – adults overwinter

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants—Summer Farewell (Dalea pinnata); Shrubs—Bastard Indigo (Amprpha fruticosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe)

4-7

tropical hardwood hammocks, open sites, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—(Fabaceae) including Florida Keys Blackbead (Pithecellobium keyense), Catclaw (Pithecellobium unguis-cati), and False Tamarind (Lysiloma latisiliquum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

       

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

1-7

open areas, gardens, beaches, parks

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants and shrubs—(Fabaceae) including Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), Sensitive Pea (Chamaecrista nictitans), and various native and non-native sennas (Senna spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Orange-barred Sulfur (Phoebis philea)

2-7

gardens, parks, open areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs and trees—(Fabaceae) including native and non-native sennas (Senna spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside)

5-7

coastal strand, gardens, beaches

Mar-Nov

Larval Foods: Trees—Lignumvitae (Guajacum sanctum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Statira Sulphur (Aphrissa [Phoebis] statira)

3-7

coastal areas, wetlands, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs—Coinvine (Dalbergia ecastaphyllum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Barred Yellow (Eurema daira)

1-7

beaches, scrub, disturbed areas, fields, roadsides, fallow agricultural land

All year – adults overwinter

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants—(Fabaceae) including Pencil flower (Stylosanthes biflora), Shyleaf (Aeschynomene americana) and Sticky Jointvetch (Aeschynomene viscidula)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Little Yellow (Eurema lisa)

1-7

disturbed areas, open areas, open woodlands, scrubs, fields

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants—(Fabaceae) including Partridge Pea (Chamaerista fasciculata) and Sensitive Pea (Chamaecrista nictitans)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dina Yellow (Eurema dina)

6-7

tropical hardwood hammock margins and adjacent open areas

All year

Larval Foods: Shrubs and Trees—(Picramniaceae) including Mexican Alvaradoa (Alvaradoa amorphoides)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Mimosa Yellow (Eurema nise)

6-7

forest margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants and Trees—(Fabaceae) including Sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) and False Tamarind (Lysiloma latisilquum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe)

1-7

fields, forest margins, scrub, sandhills, roadsides, fallow agricultural land

All year – adults overwinter

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Fabaceae) including Sicklepod Senna (Senna obtusifolia)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dainty Sulfur (Nathalis iole)

1-7

disturbed areas, pastures, roadsides

All year

Larval Foods: Herbaceous Plants—including Spanish Needles (Bidens alba) and Indian Chickweed (Mollugo verticillata)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

Table 3. 

Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

SPECIES

REGIONS

HABITATS

FLIGHT SEASON

       

Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius)

1-4

wetlands, swamps

Feb-Nov

Larval Host: Larvae are carnivorous and feed on Woolly Aphids that utilize Smilax spp. and Alnus spp.

Adult Food Resources: Aphid honeydew

 

Atala (Eumaeus atala)

5-7

tropical pine rocklands, tropical hardwood hammocks, parks, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs—(Zamiaceae) including Coontie (Zamia pumila)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Great Purple Hairstreak (Atlides halesus)

1-5

woodlands, wetlands, adjacent open areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrub—Oak Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Amethyst Hairstreak (Chlorostrymon maesites)

6-7

tropical hardwood hammocks and their margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Unknown

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Silver-banded Hairstreak (Chlorostrymon simaethis)

6-7

tropical hardwood hammocks and their margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Vines—(Sapindaceae) including Heartseed (Cardiospermum corindum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Coral Hairstreak (Harkenclenus [Satyrium] titus)

1

woodlands and forest margins

Mar-May

Larval Host Plants: Trees—(Rosaceae) including Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)

1-4

woodlands, scrubs, and forest margins

Feb-Apr

Larval Host Plants: Trees—including hickory (Carya spp.) and oak (Quercus spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Kings Hairstreak (Satyrium kingi)

1

woodlands, swamps

May-Jun

Larval Host Plants: Shrub—Sweetleaf (Symplocos tinctoria)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)

1-4

woodlands, forest margins

May-Jun

Larval Host Plants: Trees—(Ericaceae) including Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Red banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

1-7

open shrubby areas, forest margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees and Shrubs—Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera); Larvae feed primarily on dead leaves beneath plants

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus)

1-3

fields, coastal hammocks, dunes near cedar groves

Feb-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Red Cedar (Juniperus, virginiana)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Hessels Hairstreak (Callophrys hesseli)

1

wetlands, swamps

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Henry's Elfin (Callophrys henrici)

1-3

woolands, wetlands, swamps, forest margins

Mar-Apr

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Dahoon (Ilex cassine), American Holly (Ilex opaca), and Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Adult Food Resourcs: Flower nectar

 

Eastern Pine Elfin (Callophrys niphon)

1-3

scrubs, oak-pine forests

Mar-Apr

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Sand Pine (Pinus clausa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus)

1-2

sandhills

Mar-May

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants—(Fabaceae), Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Southern Oak Hairstreak (Fixsenia favonius)

1-5

scrubs, woodlands, forest margins

Feb-Apr

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Oaks (Quercus spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

White M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album)

1-7

scrubs, woodlands, forest margins

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Oaks (Quercus spp.) including Virginia Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) and Laurel Oak (Quercus laurifolia)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

1-7

scrubs, open woodlands, disturbed areas, roadsides, gardens

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plantss: Herbaceous plants in several families including clover (Trifolium spp.), Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.), and milkpea (Galactia spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Martial Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon martialis)

5-7

coastal areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs—Bay cedar (Suriana maritima)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Bartram's Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon acis)

6-7

pine rocklands

All year

Larval Foods: Shrubs—Pineland Croton (Croton linearis)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon istapa)

5-7

fields

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants—(Malvaceae) including Bladdermallow (Herissantia crispa), fanpetals (Sida spp.), and Sleepy Morning (Waltheria indica)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Fulvous Hairstreak (Electrostrymon angelia)

5-7

disturbed sites, forest margins, coastal areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia piscipula)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Eastern Pigmy-Blue (Brephidium pseudofea)

1-7

salt marshes and tidal flats

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Annual Glasswort (Salcornia bigelovii), Perennial Glasswort (Sarcocornia perennis)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Casius Blue (Leptotes cassius)

3-7

gardens, coastal areas, hammock margins, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Florida Keys Blackbead (Pithecellobium keyense); Shrubs—-Leadwort (Plumbago auriculata); Herbaceous plants—milkpea (Galactia spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Miami Blue (Cyclargus thomasi)

7

coastal areas, tropical hardwood hammock margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs—Gray Nickerbean (Caesalpinia bonduc); Vines—Heartseed (Cardiospermum corindum.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus)

1-7

disturbed sites, roadsides, coastal areas, scrubs

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Fabaceae) including Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) and Sensitive Pea (Chamaecrista nictitans)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Ammon Blue (Cyclargus ammon)

7

tropical pine rocklands, coastal areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs—Sweet Acacia (Acacia farnesiana) and Pineland Acacia (Acacia pinetorum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Everes comyntas)

1-2

disturbed sites, forest margins

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Fabaceae) including clovers (Trifolium spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

1-3

woodlands, forest margins, swamps

Feb-Mar

Larval Host plants: Flowers and fruits of various trees and shrubs including Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta)

1-3

woodland margins, swamps

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Pants: Flowers and fruits of various trees and shrubs

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

Table 4. 

Metalmark Butterflies (Family Riodinidae)

SPECIES

REGIONS

HABITATS

FLIGHT SEASON

       

Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis)

1-7

Wetlands, roadsides, pine savannas, open woodlands

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Yellow Thistle (Cirsium horridulum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

Table 5. 

Brush-footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

SPECIES

REGION

HABITATS

FLIGHT SEASON

 

Snout Butterfly (Libytheana carinenta)

1-6

wetlands, woodlands, forest margins, parks

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

1-7

roadsides, disturbed sites, gardens, parks, coastal areas, forest margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Vines—(Passifloraceae) including PurplePassionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and Corkystem Passionflower (Passiflora suberosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Julia (Dryas iulia)

4-7

tropical hardwood hammock margins, gardens, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Vines—(Passifloraceae) including Corkystem Passionflower (Passiflora suberosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia)

1-7

open woodlands, forest margins, gardens, parks

All year

Larval Host Plants: Vines—(Passifloraceae) including PurplePassionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and Corkystem Passionflower (Passiflora suberosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar and pollen

 

Variegated Fritillary (Eupioeta claudia)

1-7

fields, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants and Vines—including Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and violets (Viola spp.)

Adult Food Reources: Flower nectar

 

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)

1

stream corridors, open woodlands, wetland margins

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Asteraceae) including Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Seminole Crescent (Anthanassa [Phyciodes] texana seminole)

1-3

wetlands, stream corridors, swamp margins

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plans: Herbaceous Plants—Waterwillow (Justicia ovata)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Cuban Crescent (Anthanassa [Phyciodes] frisia)

5-7

coastal areas, tropical hardwood hammock, margins, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Acanthaceae) Sixangle Foldwing (Dicliptera sexangularis)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaon)

1-7

roadsides, wetlands, pond margins, wet ditches, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Turkey Tanglr Fogfruit (Phyla nodiflora)

Adult Food Rsources: Flower nectar

 

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

1-6

open woodlands, fields, roadsides, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Resources: Herbaceous Plants—(Asteraceae) (Symphyotrichum spp.)

Adult FoodRsources: Flower nectar

 

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

1-4

woodlands, forest margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and Winged Elm (Ulmus alata)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

       

Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma)

1-2

deciduous forests, wetlands, fields

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Elms (Ulmus spp.); Herbaceous Plants--Nettles (Urticaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

1-2

woodlands, swamps, wetlands

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Elms (Ulmus spp) and Willows (Salix spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

1-7

disturbed sites, forest margin, fields, gardens

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—(Asteraceae) Cudweeds (Gamochaeta [Gnaphalium] spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

1-7

open woodlands, wetlands, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), Florida Pellitory (Parietaria floridana), and Nettles (Urtica spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, tree sap, and rotting fruit

 

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

1-7

forest margins, roadsides, fields, disturbed sites, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Plantain (Plantago spp.), Twinflower (Dyschoriste spp.), Toadflax (Linaria spp.), False Foxglove (Agalinus spp.), Turkey Tangle Fogfruit (Phyla nodifloa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, rotting fruit

 

Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia evarete)

5-7

mangrove swamps, salt marshes, adjacent coastal areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Tropical Buckeye (Junonia genoveva)

6-7

coastal area, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae)

2-7

wetlands, roadsides, cannals, wet ditches, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Waterhyssop (Bacopa monieri) and Turkey Tangle Fogfruit (Phyla nodiflora)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)

5-7

tropical hardwood hammock, shrubby sites, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Green Shrimp Plant (Blechum pyramidatum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, rotting fruit

 

Red-spotted Purple (Basilarchia [Limenitis] arthemis astyanax)

1-3

secondary-growth woodlands, forest margins, swamps, wetlands

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Carolina Willow (Salix caroliniana); Shrubs—Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, rotting fruit

 

Viceroy (Basilarchia [Limenitis] archippus)

1-6

wetlands, marshes

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Willows (Salix spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, rotting fruit

 

Florida Purplewing (Eunica tatila)

7

tropical hardwood hammocks

All year

Larval Host Pants: Trees—Crabwood (Gymnanthes lucida)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Dingy purplewing

6-7

tropical hardwood hammocks and margins

All year

Larval Foods: Trees—Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Ruddy Daggerwing (Marpesia petreus)

4-7

tropical hardwood hammocks, wetlands

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Goatweed Leafwing (Anaea andrea)

1-3

woodlands, pinelands

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Silver Croton (Croton argyranthmus) and Woolly Croton (Croton capitatus)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Florida Leafwing (Anaea troglodyte floridalis)

6-7

tropical pine rocklands

All year

Larval Host Plants: Pineland Croton (Croton linearis)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis)

1-5

woodlands, stream corridors, parks, forest margins

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton)

1-6

woodlands, stream corridors forest margins, parks

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap, rotting fruit

 

Southern Pearly-Eye (Enodia portlandia)

1-3

wetlands, moist woodlands, stream corridors, canebrakes

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae) —Switchcane (Arundinaria gigantea)

Adult Food Resources: Sap, rotting fruit, and vegetation

 

Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia)

1-4

moist woodlands, swamps, stream corridors

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Pants: Sedges (Cyperaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Sap, rotting fruit, and vegetation

 

Gemmed Satyr (Cyllopsis gemma)

1-4

moist woodlands, stream corridors, swamps

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae—including Slender Woodoats Chasmanthium laxum)

Adult Food Resources: Tree sap

 

Georgia Satyr (Neonympha areolata)

1-6

marginal wetlands, moist woodlands, pine savannas, wet ditches

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae) and Sedges (Cyperaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Unknown

 

Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius)

1-7

woodlands, forest margins, wetlands, adjacent open areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—including St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, sap

 

Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela)

1-4

woodlands, forest margins, swamps

Mar-May

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Sap, rotting fruit and vegetation

 

Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)

1-4

woodlands, forest margin, swamps

Jul-Sep

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar, sap, rotting fruit and vegetation

 

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

1-7

open areas, fields, gardens, disturbed sites, parks, scrubs, pastures, marshes

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants (Apocynaeae)—Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) including Pineland Milkweed (Asclepias humistrata), White Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias perennis), Pink Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Queen (Danaus gilippus)

1-7

open pinelands, forest margins, fields, marshes, pastures, gardens, parks

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants (Apocynaeae)—Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) including Pineland Milkweed (Asclepias humistrata), White Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias perennis), Pink Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata); Vines—White Twinvine (Sarcostemma clausum) and Florida Milkvine (Matelea floridana)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Soldier (Danaus eresimus)

4-7

marshes, gardens, open areas, disturbed sites, pastures, parks

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants (Apocynaeae)—Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.).; Vines—White Twinvine (Sarcostemma clausum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

Table 6. 

Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

SPECIES

REGIONS

HABITATS

FLIGHT SEASON

       

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

1-7

woodlands, forest margin, swamps, gardens

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Vines—including American Hogpeanut (Amphicarpeae bracteata), American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), and Groundnut (Apios americana); Shrubs—Bastard Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

       

Mangrove Skipper (Phocides pigmalion)

4-7

mangroves, coastal areas

All year

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Hammock Skipper (Polygonus leo)

6-7

tropical hardwood hammocks and margins, parks, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia piscipula)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)

1-7

open areas, disturbed sites, forest margins, parks, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous plants (Fabaceae)—including Ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.); Vines—American Wisteria (Wisteria americana), Butterfly Pea (Centrosema spp.), and Milkpea (Galactia spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dorantes Longtail (Urbanus dorantes)

1-7

woodland margins, disturbed sites, roadsides, gardens

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants (Fabaceae) including Ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Golden Banded-Skipper (Autochton cellus)

1-2

moist woodlands, forest margins, wetlands

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Vines—including American Hogpeanut (Amphicarpeae bracteata)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)

1-2

woodlands, forest margins

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.); Vines—Atlantic Pigeonwings (Clitoria mariana)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Southern Cloudywing (Thorybes bathyllus)

1-4

dry woodlands, forest margins, gardens

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.); Vines—Atlantic Pigeonwings (Clitoria mariana)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades)

1-5

dry woodlands, forest margins, gardens

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.); Vines—Groundnut (Apios americana), Butterfly Pea (Centrosema spp.), and Milkpea (Galactia spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Confused Cloudywng (Thorybes confusis)

1-4

dry woodlands, forest margins

Mar-Oct

Larva Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants (Fabaceae) including Bush Clover (Lespedeza spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Hayhursts Scallopwing (Staphylus hayhurstii)

1-6

woodlands, forest margins

Feb- Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plant: Jubas Bush (Iresine diffusa)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Florida Duskywing (Ephyriades brunneus)

6-7

tropical pine rocklands, hardwood hammock margins

All year

Larval Host Plants: Shrub—Long Key Locustberry (Byrsonima lucida)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Junevals Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis)

1-5

dry woodlands, forest margins, adjacent open areas

Jan-Mar

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Oaks (Quercus spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo)

1-5

dry woodlands, forest margins, adjacent open areas

Jan-Mar

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Oaks (Quercus spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Horaces Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

1-7

woodlands, forest margins, swamps, adjacent open areas

Feb-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Trees—Oaks (Quercus spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Mottled Duskywing (Erynnis martialis)

1

dry woodlands, forest margins, adjacent open areas

Mar-Sep

Larval Host Plants: Shrub—New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco)

1-7

woodlands, forest margins, wetland edges, adjacent open areas

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants—Wild White Indigo (Baptisia alba) and Blatterpod (Sesbania vesicaria); Vines – Milkpea (Galactia spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae)

1-2

dry woodlands, forest margins

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants (Fabaceae)—Wild White Indigo (Bapisia alba) and Carolina Indigo (Indigofera caroliniana)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus)

1-3

disturbed sites, pastures, fallow agricultural land, gardens

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants (Amaranthaceae)—Lambs Quarters (Chenopodium album)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

1-4

disturbed sites, roadsides, fields, pastures

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Pants (Malvaceae)—Cuban Jute (Sida rhombifolia) and Common Fanpetals (Sida acuta)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus albescens)

1-6

disturbed sites, roadsides, fields, pastures

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Pants (Malvaceae)—Cuban Jute (Sida rhombifolia) and Common Fanpetals (Sida acuta)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Tropical Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus oileus)

1-7

disturbed sites, roadsides, fields, pastures

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Pants (Malvaceae)—Cuban Jute (Sida rhombifolia) and Common Fanpetals (Sida acuta)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Swarthy Skipper (Nastra lherminier)

1-7

open woodlands, forest margins, fields, pine savannas, disturbed sites

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Bluestem (Andropogon spp.) and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Neamathla Skipper (Nastra neamathla)

2-6

open woodlands, forest margins, fields, pine savannas, disturbed sites

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Bluestem (Andropogon spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Three-spotted Skipper (Cymaenes tripunctus)

5-7

woodlands, forest margins, disturbed sites

All year

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae) – Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) and Thin Paspalum (Paspalum setaceum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)

1-7

forest margins, pastures, disturbed sites

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

1-7

moist woodlands, wetlands, forest margins, disturbed sites

Mar- Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Southern Skipperling (Copaeodes minimus)

1-6

wet meadows, roadsides, forest margins, moist ditches, roadsides, disturbed sites

Feb -Dec

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)

1-6

wetlands, stream margins, swaps, wet meadows, ditches, disturbed sites

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dotted Skipper (Hesperia attalus)

1-4

dry pine woodlands

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Meskes Skipper (Hesperia meskei)

1-7

dry pine woodlands, tropical pine rocklands

May-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Baracoa Skipper (Polites baracoa)

1-7

dry pine woodlands, forest margins, disturbed sites

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites thermistocles)

1-5

open woodlands, pine savannas, forest margins, fields

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Crossline Skipper (Polites origenes)

1-4

wetlands, pine savannas, seeps, moist meadows

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Whirlabout (Polites vibex)

1-7

open woodlands, forest margins, disturbed sites, gardens, yards

All year

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho)

1-7

woodlands, forest margins, gardens

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Northern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia egeremet)

1-4

woodlands, forest margins, swamps

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna)

1-3

woodlands, forest margins, swamps

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

1-7

woodlands, forest margins, wetlands, disturbed sites

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Arogos Skipper (Atrytone arogos)

2-5

prairies, wetlands, pine savannas

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Lopsided Indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan)

1-6

forest margins, wetlands, moist meadows, pine savannas, marsh edges, old fields

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—including Bluestem (Andropogon spp.), Indiangrass (Sorghastrum spp.), and Switchcane (Arundinaria gigantea)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Byssus Skipper (Problema byssus)

1-6

forest margins, stream corridors, wetlands

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Slender Woodoats (Chamanthium laxum) and Plumegrass (Saccharum spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon)

1-3

forest margins, wet woods, stream corridors, wetland margins

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Aarons Skipper (Poanes aaroni)

1-6

wetlands, stream corridors, freshwater and salt marsh margins

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Yehl Skipper (Poanes yehl)

1-2

forest margins, moist woodlands, swamp margins, canebrakes

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Broad-winged Skipper (Poanes viator)

1-2

wetlands, marsh edges, stream corridors

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Palmetto Skipper (Euphyes arpa)

1-7

pine woodlands, pine savannas, scrubs

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Palms (Arecaceae)—Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Palatka Skipper (Euphyes pilatka)

1-7

wetlands, freshwater and brackish marshes, wet prairies

Mar-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Sedges (Cyperaceae)—Sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion)

1-3

wet meadows, pine savannas, moist roadsides, swamp margins

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Sedges (Cyperaceae)—Sedges (Carex spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi)

2-3

wetlands, wooded swamps

May-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Sedges (Cyperaceae)—Sedges (Carex spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Berry's Skipper (Euphyes berryi)

1-7

wetlands, moist meadows, pine savannas, swamp margins

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Sedges (Cyperaceae)—Sedges (Carex spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)

1-3

moist woodland margins, wetlands, swamp edges

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Sedges (Cyperaceae)—Sedges (Carex spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Monk (Asbolis capucinus)

3-7

woodlands, forest margins, parks

Mar-Dec

Larval Host Plants: Palms (Arecaceae)—including Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens), Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto), Florida Thatch Palm (Thrinax morrisii), and Florida Silver Palm (Coccothrinax argentata)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dusted Skipper (Atrytonopsis hianna)

1-5

pine savannas, pine woodlands, prairies

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Lopsided Indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Pepper and Salt Skipper (Amblyscirtes hegon)

1-2

moist woodland margins and clearings, swamp edges

Apr-Aug

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes aesculapius)

1-3

moist woodland margins and clearings, swamp edges

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Switchcane (Arudinaria gigantea)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Common Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscrtes vialis)

1

woodland margins and clearings

Apr-Sep

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Reversed Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes reversa)

1

wetlands, canebrakes, seeps

Apr-Sep

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Switchcane (Arudinaria gigantea)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Dusky Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes alternata)

1-3

dry pine woodlands, pine savannas

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Twin-spot Skipper (Oligoria maculata)

1-7

moist woodland margins, pine savannas, marsh edges, fields

Mar-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Bluestem (Andropogon spp.)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Brazilian Skipper (Calpodes ethlius)

1-7

wetlands, swamps, marshes, gardens, parks

All year

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Plants (Cannaceae)—Bandana-of-the-Everglades (Canna florida) and ornamental Canna spp.

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Salt Marsh Skipper (Panoquina panoquin)

1-7

salt marshes and adjacent open areas

Feb-Dec

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)—Saltmarsh Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Obscure Skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides)

3-7

salt marshes and adjacent open areas

Apr-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

1-7

wetlands, marshes, wet meadows, roadsides, disturbed sites, gardens

Feb-Nov

Larval Host Plants: Grasses (Poaceae)

Adult Food Resources: Flower nectar

 

Yucca Giant-Skipper (Megathymus yuccae)

1-5

dry pine woodlands, scrubs, old fields, coastal dunes

Feb-May

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs (Agavaceae)—Adams Needle (Yucca filamentosa) and Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia)

Adult Food Resources: Unknown

 

Cofaqui Giant-Skipper (Megathymus cofaqui)

1-5

dry pine woodlands, scrubs, old fields, coastal dunes

Apr-Oct

Larval Host Plants: Shrubs (Agavaceae)—Adams Needle (Yucca filamentosa) and Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia)

Adult Food Resources: Unknown

Table 7. 

Native Butterfly Nectar Plants. North and Central Florida: Regions 1-4.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Flowering Season

TREES

Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis

Spring

Dahoon Holly

Ilex cassine

Spring

Chickasaw Plum

Prunus angustifolia

Spring

Hog Plum

Prunus umbellata

Spring

Sparkleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

Spring

Walters Viburnum

Viburnum abovatum

Spring

SHRUBS

Bastard Indigo

Amorpha fruticosa

Summer-Fall

Buttonbush

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Spring-Summer

New Jersey Tea

Ceanothus americanus

Spring

Summersweet

Clethra alnifolia

Summer

Garberia

Garberia heterophylla

Summer-Fall

Firebush

Hamelia patens

Summer-Fall

Inkberry

Ilex glabra

Spring-Summer

Wild Azalea

Rhododendron canescens

Spring

Florida Flame Azalea

Rhododendron austrinum

Spring

WILDFLOWERS

False Foxglove

Agalinus spp.

Fall

Pink Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata

Summer-Fall

White Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias perennis

Summer-Fall

Butterfly Milkweed

Asclepias tuberosa

Spring-Summer

Aster

Aster spp.

Summer-Fall

Florida Paint Brush

Carphephorus corymbosus

Fall

Vanilla Plant

Carphephorus odoratissimus

Fall

Golden Aster

Chrysopsis spp.

Fall

Mistflower

Conoclinium coelestinum

Summer-Fall

Dalea

Dalea spp.

Fall

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea

Summer

Elephants-foot

Elepjantopus elatus

Summer-Fall

Snakeroot

Eryngium aquaticum

Summer

Mistflower

Eupatorium coelestinum

Summer-Fall

Joe-pye Weed

Eupatorium fistulosum

Summer-Fall

Blanket Flower

Gaillardia pulchella

Summer-Fall

Coastal Vervain

Glandularia maritima

Summer

Narrow-leaf Sunflower

Helianthus angustifolius

Summer-Fall

Beach Sunflower

Helianthus debilis

Summer-Fall

Scarlet Hibiscus

Hibiscus coccineus

Summer-Fall

Redroot

Lachnanthes caroliana

Summer-Fall

Blazing Star

Liatris spp.

Summer-Fall

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Summer-Fall

Snow Squarestem

Melanhera nivea

Summer-Fall

Hempweed

Mikania scandens

Fall

Horsemint

Monarda punctata

Fall

Turkey Tangle Fogfruit

Phyla nodiflora

Spring-Fall

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Summer-Fall

Yellow Coneflower

Ratibida pinnata

Summer-Fall

Cut-leaved Coneflower

Rudbeckia lanciniata

Summer-Fall

Wild Petunia

Ruellia caroliniensis

Spring-Fall

Salvia (Sage)

Salvia spp.

Summer-Fall

Rosinweed

Silphium asteriscus

Summer-Fall

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Summer-Fall

Stokes' Aster

Stokesia laevis

Summer-Fall

Ironweed

Vernonia spp.

Summer

Table 8. 

Native Butterfly Nectar Plants. South Florida: Regions 5-7.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Flowering Season

TREES

Geiger Tree

Cordia sebestena

Summer-Winter

SHRUBS

Buttonbush

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Summer

Buttonwood

Conocarpus erectus

Spring-Summer

Firebush

Hamelia patens

All year

Buttonsage

Lantana involucrata

Summer-Winter

Wild Coffee

Psychotria nervosa

Spring

Necklace Pod

Sophora tomentosa

Summer-Winter

PERENNIALS

Mistflower

Conoclinium coelestinum

Summer-Fall

Beach Sunflower

Helianthus debilis

All Year

Scorpion-tail

Heliotropium angiospermum

All Year

Snow Squarestem

Melanhera nivea

All Year

Turkey Tangle Fogfruit

Phyla nodiflora

All Year

Blue Porterweed

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

Spring

Footnotes

1.

This document is WEC 22, one of a series of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date December 1990. Revised February 2008. Reviewed October 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Jaret C. Daniels, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology; Joe Schaefer, Ph.D., South District Extension Director; Craig N. Huegel, former assistant Extension scientist, Pinellas Country; and Frank J. Mazzotti, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Everglades REC, Belle Glade, FL 33430; UF/IFAS Extension.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.