Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Flying Jewels

Our last two blogs covered butterflies that we saw at a conservatory in Key West. Today I thought I would show some of the native butterflies we've seen in our 10 weeks here at Key Deer NWR.

Some are widespread species like the Queen and Gulf Fritillary.
Gulf Fritillary
But many are more limited in range. An example is the Mangrove Skipper, found only on the southern Florida coast.
Mangrove Skipper
The similar Hammock Skipper is a bit more widespread, also occurring in far south Texas and occasionally in SE Arizona.
Hammock Skipper
Still in the skipper family, the Florida Duskywing is found only in the southern tip of Florida and the Florida Keys,
Florida Duskywing
The Martial Scrub-Hairstreak inhabits the same range as the Duskywing above, so is limited to far South Florida. 
Martial Scrub-Hairstreak
The Great Southern White occupies much of the Gulf of Mexico coastline. We saw them by the hundreds on South Padre Island in Texas. Here we've seen only a couple, but recognized them immediately by their blue antenna clubs. 
Great Southern White
The final butterfly is a Mangrove Buckeye, which is limited to the Florida Coast. Similar to the Common and Tropical Buckeye, it is distinguished by the orange color surrounding the large eyespot on the forewing. 
Mangrove Buckeye


  1. Great photos... most of these species I've never seen before.

  2. It's not always easy to get such good shots of those butterflies. Good job!