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Florida State Butterfly

Zebra longwing butterfly - click to see all insect symbols
Zebra longwing butterfly photo by Patricia M. Ciesla, Forest Health
Management International Insect images.org: zebra longwing.
See All State Insects.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Zebra longwing butterfly video

The zebra longwing butterfly (Heliconius charitonius) was designated the official state butterfly of Florida in 1996. The zebra longwing butterfly is found throughout Florida in hardwood hammocks, thickets, gardens, and particularly in the Everglades National Park.

Zebra longwing butterfly caterpillar - click to see all insect symbols
Photo of zebra longwing butterfly caterpillar by Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service / Insect images.org: zebra longwing.
See All State Insects.

The zebra longwing butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen. They are the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species).

Zebra longwing butterfly - click to see all state insects
Zebra longwing butterfly photo by Tammy Powers / Wikipedia - published under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 license. See All State Insects.

The zebra longwing butterfly lays its eggs on passion vine leaves. Passion vines contain toxins that are consumed by the caterpillars, which make the adult butterflies poisonous to predators.

Source:
State Symbols: Florida Kids, My Florida.com
The Zebra Longwing: Native Florida, Your Florida Backyard
Links:
All State Insects


    

 

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Zebra Longwing Butterfly Video

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