Butterflies
Moths​
Caterpillars
Flowers
in my Florida Garden

For those people who have visited my pages, I have moved to Florida. I am starting my garden over again. Since I have retired, I am doing it on a smaller scale. The pictures below are from my garden, butterflies, flowers or whatever suits my fancy. The background to this page, the Zebra Longwing, is the Florida state butterfly. There are approximately 180 species of butterflies in Florida.
I raised a Variegated Fritillary among my Gulf Fritillaries without realizing it. I did finally notice some different coloring, a blue on the caterpillar, so I separated it from the others to see what it would develop into. The following are photos I captured. This is one of the prettiest chrysalises I have seen. Only when I enlarged the photo was I able to enjoy the mother of pearl coloring dotted with gold.
You sometimes need sharp eyes to see the smaller butterflies. This Gray Hairstreak visited my milkweed.
This moth is very pretty. It is the Oleander moth or Polka Dot Wasp Moth. I know the neighbors nearby have oleander planted in their yards.

I planted a Popcorn Cassia plant in my yard. It is the host plant for the Sulphur butterflies. This species of Cassia grew to 6 feet in one year planted from seed and not fit for the area I planted it in. It is also susceptible to freezes. I have since replanted with a native cassia, Senna Mexicana. The Senna was much too big for my yard.  I have gone to a Cassia that is growing in a pot.  I hope to keep its size in check.  I do not see any caterpillars on this plant.  The eggs disappear quickly.  I found this on the Internet:  Cassia has glands at the bases of the leaves that attract ants, which often attack and eat the sulphur butterfly eggs and caterpillars. This natural cycle helps to keep the butterfly population in check, but can make it frustrating to those of us who plant cassia purposely for butterfly caterpillars.

All photos, background
and buttons are copyrighted
by Sue.
I find the Long Tailed Skipper enjoying nectaring mainly on Lantana or Golden Dew Drop.
I was working in the garden one morning. It was getting hot and I was getting sweaty. I rounded the corner of my house to be stopped dead in my tracks as I saw this beauty visiting my garden, a Zebra Swallowtail. The butterfly must have just emerged as it had all its tails. Then with luck it landed on the red zinnia making a dazzling contrast of colors. I ran for the camera and caught this shot. Their host plant is Pawpaws.
I have planted passionvines in my garden for the Gulf Fritillary butterflies. The plants have interestingly shaped flowers. I decided to raise some and have some photos of the various life cycles. The passionvine (except for red colored plants) is the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary and Zebra Longwing butterflies. The egg is the size of the head of a pin.
I spotted this Checkered White butterfly nectaring on Golden Dew Drop. The host plant is herbs in the mustard family and Virginia Pepperweed.

Monarch butterfly nectaring on Golden Dew Drop. The Monarch caterpillar uses only milkweed (asclepias) plants as its source for food. Its chrysalis has gold flecks of color on it.
One day I noticed this American Lady butterfly on my river rock in the garden.
Although this picture isn't the best I have decided to post it. It shows the Cassius Blue caterpillar. Since this butterfly is small in size, so is its caterpillar. I saw this butterfly on my Blue Plumbago and watched as she laid eggs. The egg is very tiny and laid on the flowers or young seed pods. This picture is of a later stage of the caterpillar. They blend into the foliage very well. Look how tiny the chrysalis is when compared to a penny.  What can one expect when the butterfly is so small.
2014  -  I saw this huge moth flying onto my screening. It stayed there for 10 hours.  It is a night flying moth, so I think it just emerged and was waiting for night fall.  Discovered that it is a Banded Sphinx Moth.  They like Magnolia and Firebush among other plants.
2014  -  I saw this huge moth flying onto my screening. It stayed there for 10 hours.  It is a night flying moth, so I think it just emerged and was waiting for night fall.  Discovered that it is a Banded Sphinx Moth.  They like Magnolia and Firebush among other plants.
2014  -  I just happened to notice this little butterfly on my Lantana.  Was busy nectaring and moving around quite a bit, but managed to capture this photo of a Tropical Checkered Skipper.
2015  -  This year my Simpson's Stopper shrub was in bloom when I noticed a Duskywing nectaring on it.  I was not able to capture a photo or identify which Duskywing.  I also saw one of the Crescent butterflies on Lantana.
2014  -  I just happened to notice this little butterfly on my Lantana.  Was busy nectaring and moving around quite a bit, but managed to capture this photo of a Tropical Checkered Skipper.
In the neighbor's yards - My neighbor's yards have a Grapefruit shrub and a Lime tree.  I have occasionally seen the Giant Swallowtail laying eggs on them.
Uncertain as to what species of
Sulphur butterfly these belong to​ and if they are two separate species