Full List of Featured Photos

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Butterflies and hummingbirds reappeared the morning after hurricane Irma passed through Florida, among them was this male pipevine swallowtail.


Pipevine swallowtails are found from central Florida northward to Ontario and Connecticut, westward to Arizona, plus an area of northern California and Mexico.
Also called the blue swallowtail, they are a mostly black butterfly with the males having a blue to blue-green iridescence on the upper side of the hind wings. Both sexes have faint light submarginal spots on both sets of wings and the underside of each hindwing has a blue iridescence and a row of seven orange spots.
Eggs are reddish-orange and the full-grown larvae are dark brown to nearly black with rows of orange or sometimes red tubercles. Pupae may be green or brown and widened with lateral flanges.
The larval host plants are members of the genus Aristolochia, known as pipevines, such as Dutchman's pipe.

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The featured photo of southeastern sneezeweed was made in Tiger Bay State Forest, as were all of the images that I have posted at this time of this wildflower.

Helenium pinnatifidum, SOUTHEASTERN SNEEZEWEED

Helenium pinnatifidum is a common wildflower of wet flatwoods, wet prairies, savannas and swamp margins in most of Florida. The range includes the southeastern coastal states from North Carolina to Alabama.
This perennial can have one or several stems up to 32 inches tall growing from a basal rosette of linear, elliptic or oblanceolate leaves with few teeth, the stem leaves being greatly reduced, alternate, sessile, and decurrent. The flowers bloom in the spring and are solitary and terminal on the stem with yellow ray and disk florets, the ray floret ligules are toothed. Fruit is a brown, pubescent achene.

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The featured photo is a composite of images showing 4 different life stages of the Spiderling Plume Moth. The upper left image shows both the eggs and a pupa. On the right is the caterpillar representing the larval stage. And in the lower left is the adult moth hanging from a host plant, the red spiderling, or wineflower.

Megalorhipida leucodactylus, SPIDERLING PLUME MOTH

These tiny plume moths can be found throughout Florida often near members of the Nyctaginaceae - Four o'clock - family. The range also includes the Caribbean, southern California and Arizona.
With the distinctive "T" or airplane wing shape of plume moths at rest, this moth looked like a tiny tuft of down in flight. The wingspan is 12-18.5mm (~1/2-3/4 in.). Adult moths often have the abdomen in a recurved position, appearing much like a scorpion. The legs have perpendicular thorns, most apparent on the long hind legs held along each side of the abdomen when at rest.
The host plants for Megalorhipida leucodactylus are the spiderlings (genus Boerhavia. The larvae are 1cm (4/10 in.) long and feed on the fruit of the plant. All stages of the moths in these images are on red spiderling plants.

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This blackeyed susan flower was photographed on July 4, 2014 along the Double Springs Trail in Wakulla State Forest.

Rudbeckia hirta, BLACKEYED SUSAN

Blackeyed Susan is a common wildflower of sandhills, flatwoods and disturbed sites throughout nearly all of Florida. The includes almost all of North America except for the far northern regions.
The leaves and stem of Rudbeckia hirta are hispid to hirsute - having short, stiff hairs. The cone-shaped disks are brown-purple and are surrounded by 8 to 16 yellow or yellow-orange ray florets.

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This Southern cloudywing butterfly was seen feeding on blackeyed susan flowers along the Double Springs Trail in Wakulla State Forest.

Thorybes bathyllus - SOUTHERN CLOUDYWING

Southern cloudywings are found in a variety of habitats including meadows, savannas, scrubby fields woodlands and along streams in much of the eastern United States and west into Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma.
These skippers have brown wings with transparent spots and often a frosted trailing edge. The submarginal area of the forewing has a row of small aligned white spots. Near the costa is a spot in the shape of an hourglass in a row of white spots nearly traversing the forewing, usually with one spot offset. Wingspans are 32-38mm (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 in.). The eyes have a white ring.
Host plants are various members of the pea family - Fabaceae.

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This member of the spiderwort family of plants is a state endemic - found only in Florida.


Florida scrub roseling is a frequent wildflower of sandhills and scrub in much of the peninsula from Alachua to Collier and Broward Counties. It is also found in the panhandle counties of Gulf, Franklin and Wakulla.
This perennial has slender stems less than 61cm (2 ft.) tall topped with a tight cyme of three-petaled pink flowers. The flowers have six fertile stamens with bearded filaments and petals with scalloped edges. The linear leaves are shorter than their flowering stem. Callisia ornata does not grow in dense tufts (not cespitose).
There are a series of images and a video of a Poecilognathus bee fly on the flower of this plant on the Poecilognathus bee fly page.

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