The Miami Blue is near extinction in Florida due mostly to habitat loss. It is feared that several populations no longer exist. This Miami Blue caterpillar was reared in captivity in an effort to repopulate the species in south Florida. The captive rearing program currently has been suspended.
Two Miami Blue chrysalides rest in the hand of a researcher who is raising them in captivity. This south Florida species is in peril due to loss of habitat.
Most caterpillars travel away from their host plants to prepare for their metamorphosis into chrysalides (plural of chrysalis). This monarch caterpillar has chosen to form its chrysalis on the leaf of a Fireflag (Thalia geniculata)
View a video of a monarch caterpillar changing into a chrysalis.
The Queen caterpillar which mimics the Monarch caterpillar has an extra set of projections in the middle of the body.
When a monarch butterfly is about to emerge from its chrysalis, it will become translucent and immediately before the emergence, it will be so clear that you can see the butterfly inside.
View a video of a monarch butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.
Danaus plexippusBlazing stars (Liatris sp.) are very common in our part of Florida and are an important nectar source for the monarchs as they fly south in the late fall.
Danaus plexippusThe monarch migration in the Florida Panhandle usually occurs when the groundsel or salt bush (Baccharis sp.) is blooming.
This butterfly was one of several hundred monarchs that was "roosting" in the branches of the groundsel that is found along the coast.
Nadata gibbosa This is a tentative identification.