Phaon crescent on frogfruit

Know your native pollinators: Phaon crescent

The Phaon crescent butterfly is primarily attracted to frogfruit plants, utilizing them for nectar and as a larval host. Frogfruit is a small flowering groundcover that can be a great alternative to turf grass. Since frogfruits cannot withstand freezing temperatures, you will likely only find this butterfly in the southern regions of the United States. Phaon crescents can live in peninsular Florida throughout the year. These butterflies like moist open areas such as dunes, pastures, roadsides and clearings in dense forest thickets.

 

 

Cloudless sulphur on thistle

Know your native pollinators: Cloudless sulphur

Keep your eyes open for Cloudless sulphur butterflies! Monarchs aren’t the only ones migrating this time of year. Fall is a wonderful time to see the Cloudless sulphurs in flight on their southern migration. The Cloudless sulphur can be found year-round in the southern United States, Caribbean and much of South America, but migrating populations extend all the way to Colorado, New Jersey or even Canada during the summer months. Cloudless sulphurs practice a large fall migration to southern regions, much like the Monarch butterfly.

 

 

Silver-spotted skipper

Know your native pollinators: Silver-spotted skipper

You might find one of these creatures hanging upside-down, but it’s not a bat (or a vampire). It’s a Silver-spotted skipper!

The Silver-spotted skipper is one of the largest, most widespread and recognizable skippers. It has a quick jerky flight that is typical of skippers. This type of butterfly is common and can be found from northern Mexico to southern Canada, as well as most of the continental United States.You can find Silver-spotted skippers throughout Florida. These butterflies enjoy a disturbed habitat, open woods, foothills, stream sides, prairie waterways, edges of forests, swamps, brushy areas and other open areas with nectar plants.

Gulf fritillary on Elliott's aster, Symphyotrichum elliottii

Know your native pollinators: Gulf fritillary

The Gulf fritillary is sometimes known as the Passion butterfly — so named because of its ardor for Passionflower. You will find so much to love about this unique pollinator!

Gulf fritillaries are medium-sized butterflies with elongated forewings that live in the extreme southern United States. Outside of the U.S., they are a broad-ranging species, found throughout Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and into South America.Gulf fritillaries enjoy a variety of habitat including sunny roadsides, disturbed areas, edges, fields, pastures, woodlands, second-growth semitropical forests and urban areas like parks and yards. You may even find them blithely floating around your butterfly garden.

 

Oak hairstreak butterfly, Satyrium favonius

Know your native pollinators: Oak hairstreak butterfly

You might not see very much of the Oak hairstreak butterfly, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t around. They are usually just hanging out in the trees above your head!

Oak hairstreak butterflies prefer the tree canopies of oak woodlands, wooded coastal areas, and oak hammocks. You can find them throughout much of the eastern United States, stretching as far west as New Mexico. They can be identified by the two tails on each hindwing, and have greyish-brown undersides with a blue tail-spot and orange coloring above.

Tachinid fly

Know your native pollinators: Tachinid flies

With over 1,300 species in North America alone, Tachinid flies are an extremely diverse group, yet they are often overlooked. Once you spot one, however, you’re likely to start recognizing them everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled on both flowers and foliage for these hairy pollinators. Tachinid fly larvae are known parasitoids of many nuisance bugs. How they enter their hosts varies, but once inside, all tachinid larvae begin to consume their host internally. This may sound like a Halloween horror story, but Tachinid larvae are great at keeping garden pests in check.