Florida's state butterfly calls the ELC home and September is a great time to come see them in large numbers!
Passionate About Home
Zebra Longwings lay their eggs on a variety of passionflowers, like the purple passionflower pictured below. Most butterflies live only 2-4 weeks, but the zebra longwing can live up to 8 months. They collect pollen and consume nectar from other tubular flowers like the native firebush, which they can breakdown and digest for extra strength allowing them to live longer.
The caterpillars are white with black spots and spines, warding off predators by signaling they are toxic. These butterflies also have a unique mating ritual, where the male mates with the female before she emerges from the chrysalis. Learn more about these butterflies with this video from the Florida Museum.