These are news stories about pollinators

Know your native pollinators: Julia

Also known as Julia heliconian and Flambeau (the flame), the Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) is recognizable by its orange color and elongated wings. Passionvine (Passiflora spp.) is the chosen host plant for Julia caterpillars. As adults, they nectar on Pineland lantana (Lantana depressa), Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata), Dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), and Beggarticks (Bidens alba).

 

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Fiery skipper by Mary Keim

Happy National Pollinator Week!

This week, we salute the little things — the pollinators that do our major lifting. Why care about pollinators? Because 80 percent of our food crops depend on them, as does the health of our natural areas, which we depend on for things such as oxygen (sort of vital, right?).

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Eumaeus atala by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Atala

Florida once teemed with Atala butterflies but overharvesting of the Atala’s host plant Coontie caused a drastic decline in butterfly populations. During the mid-20th century Atalas were thought to be extinct. Now populations are rebounding thanks to the high demand for Coontie in native landscaping. Atalas are lovely hairstreak butterflies with velvety black wings that shine with an iridescent aquamarine. The underside of their wings displays three rows of small aquamarine dots and a larger reddish orange spot on the hindwing.

 

 

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CeraunusBlueButterfly (Hemiargus ceraunus) by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Ceraunus blue

Ceraunus blue butterflies, found in the gossamer-winged family, fly in southern Florida throughout the year. The common name of these small butterflies comes from the violet blue of the male’s dorsal side. Females have a smaller amount of blue which is located on their dorsal side at the base of their wings. The larval hosts of the Ceraunus blue are plants in the Fabaceae family.

 

 

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White peacock butterfly

Know your native pollinators: White peacock

White peacock butterflies, found in the brush-footed family, fly in Florida throughout the year. They are small white butterflies with brown markings and orange margins. The common name of the White peacock comes from black spots on the forewings and hindwings, giving the appearance of a peacock’s eyespot. You might notice these lovely winged friends flying close to the ground searching for Turkey-tangle frogfruit, which acts as both a host and nectar plant for them.

 

 

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