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Erigeron quercifolius -  OAKLEAF FLEABANE
OAKLEAF FLEABANE

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ZEBRA LONGWING

The featured photo shows a zebra longwing butterfly feeding on beggarticks which are also called Spanish needles with another zebra longwing in flight in the background. Heliconius charithonius is the state butterfly of Florida.

Heliconius charithonius - ZEBRA LONGWING

The zebra longwing can be found throughout the Florida peninsula, mostly in hammocks and along the edges of forested rivers and streams. The range includes the West Indies, south Texas, Mexico and Central America.
Heliconius charitonius has a wingspan of from about three to four inches. The forewings are long and narrow, jet black above with three yellow bands. The hindwings have one yellow band and a row of yellow spots. The undersides of the wings are paler, with red spots at the base. The adult butterflies can be seen feeding on numerous wildflowers including firebush and beggarticks.
The larvae are a white caterpillar with rows of white dots and six rows of black spines and feed exclusively on passionflower vines.

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