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The official Florida state butterfly is the zebra longwing, having been designated so by the state legislature in 1996.
These distinctive butterflies are found throughout the Florida peninsula, more frequently southward. They can also be seen from South Carolina to Alabama, Texas and Arizona, plus Mexico, Central America and the West Indies.
Zebra Longwing butterflies on Bidens alba
A zebra longwing butterfly wingspan is from about three to four inches with long and narrow forewings that are jet black above with three yellow bands. The hindwings have one yellow band and a row of yellow spots. The undersides of the wings are paler, with red spots at the base.
Zebra Longwing on Firebush
Heliconius charitonius is in the Heliconiinae subfamily of the brush-foot family, which are called Nymphalidae.
female Julia Butterfly on Pigeon Plum plant
Other Heliconiinae in Florida include the Julia and gulf fritillary butterflies. This subfamily is known as both the longwings and the passionflower butterflies.
Gulf Fritillary on white Passionflower
All of the Heliconiinae butterflies utilize the various passionflower vines as their larval host plant. The two that are more frequent in the northern part of Florida reduce competition between the species by favoring different parts of the plant and plants in different locations. Gulf fritillaries prefer passionflowers in the full sun and the caterpillars tend to feed on the older leaves lower on the plant. In contrast, zebra longwings prefer plants more in the shade, laying their eggs on the tips of fresh growth.
For more information and photos of gulf fritillaries at various stages of metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult see the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly blog post from last year.
Paul Rebmann Nature Photography will be at the Run for the Woods at Seminole State Forest on SuperB Owl Sunday, Feb 3.
Two 8x10 matted Paul Rebmann nature prints will be among the prizes for finishers. An Eastern screech owl in the men's division and zebra longwings butterflies in the women's.
Paul Rebmann Nature Photography/Wild Florida Photo greeting cards, prints and other nature image products will be available for sale at this event. The nature photography tent will be at the post-race festivities at Bear Pond. Enter at the main forest entrance on Hwy 46.
For more information about this event visit RunfortheWoods.org.
For details on this and other 2019 events, visit the Wild Florida Photo events page.
Lake Lizzie Marsh
A new section of the Florida National Scenic Trail passing through the Lake Lizzie Conservation Area was recently opened. I attended the celebration and ribbon-cutting on January 25 and participated in the guided hike as naturalist to point out some of the plants that were seen along the way and answer various questions.
You can see the Spectrum News 13 story on this event at Lake Lizzie Preserve Helping Close Gap Within Florida National Scenic Trail
Just a few of the items available with Paul Rebmann Nature Photography images.
Marsh Rabbit on Dune printed on a women's V-neck T-shirt, just one of the many styles of shirts available.
Lake Lizzie Marsh on a phone case, available for numerous models of Galaxy and iPhones.
The current Wild Florida Photo feature is
Other recent featured photos at Wild Florida Photo include Oakleaf Fleabane, Green Anole and Bald Cypress Knees Akilter.
Thank you, and I hope that you enjoy my photography.
Wild Florida Photo
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