Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 12, 2012 Butterfly Monitoring

On this partly cloudy November morning in Transect A, we observed many of our frequently seen butterflies including Phaon Crescents, Salt Marsh Skippers, Common Buckeyes, Gulf Fritillaries, and Cassius and Ceraunus blues.  
White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae)
But the star of the day was the White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae) of the family Nymphalidae. Most of us had seen only one or two of these in the past, or never before.  This beautiful butterfly is pictured on the cover of our butterfly monitoring bible - "Butterflies Through Binoculars" by Jeffrey Glassberg, Marc Minno and John Calhoun.
The White Peacock has a wingspan of 2 to 2.75  inches.  The caterpillar of the white peacock butterfly eats water hyssop so that is where the adult female lays her eggs. Adult White Peacock Butterflies like Plumbago flower nectar. Their favorite habitat is is wide open land. 

The GTM NERR butterfly monitoring expedition was followed by a lunchtime program in the auditorium about butterfly ecology and gardening in Florida. Presented by Mike Boulware, Living Exhibit Specialist and Outreach Co-coordinator from the University of Florida's Butterfly Rainforest, all volunteers and staff were invited to attend. 
For more information about the Butterfly Rainforest visit their website at

Renee Stambaugh of Native Plant consulting brought native plants that are not only attractive to look at, but will also attract butterflies to your garden.  Remember that butterflies need both larval host plants and nectar sources to survive.

1 comment:

  1. That is a fantastic picture of a white peacock. I was lucky enough to see one on the first day of my holiday to St Lucia. It turned out to be the only one I saw during my holiday.