Butterflies can be found in almost every part of the world, pollinating flowers and brightening the days of those who happen to come across them. Because of their beautiful and varied wing patterns and the amazing transformations they go through from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly, these little creatures are endlessly fascinating and many people see them as symbols of growth, change, and beauty. Florida is home to over 170 different species of butterfly and sees both migratory and permanent butterfly species. It’s a great place for them since Florida is blooming with many different kinds of flowers almost all year round.
Florida butterflies can frequently be spotted among residential gardens, nature trails, or even on a typical day out and about. A few common species found in Florida include the Monarch Butterfly, Queen Monarch, Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, American Lady, and Common Buckeye.
Since 1996, Florida’s official state butterfly has been the Zebra Longwing. Although it can be found throughout all of Florida, this particular species enjoys spending a lot of time in the Everglades National Park. Unlike all other butterfly species, the Zebra Longwing is known to eat pollen which is believed to aid in its long lifespan of six months as opposed to the usual one month lifespan of most other butterflies.
A great way to get to know some Florida butterflies is by starting a butterfly garden. Florida, especially the southern area, is one of the best places for butterfly gardening courtesy of the year-round tropical climate and the constant presence of various native flowers for butterflies and caterpillars to feed on. Not all butterflies like the same flowers so planting the right ones is essential if you’re hoping to see specific species. Another critical aspect of the butterfly garden is ensuring that you have the proper food plants for the caterpillars of the butterflies you hope to attract. Food sources for butterflies are often different during their caterpillar phase. Creating butterfly gardens is not only a great way to enjoy these beautiful creatures but it helps restore butterfly habitats that have been lost due to construction.
Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida is another wonderful way to experience thousands of butterflies. Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in the world and since their butterflies are all bred at their facilities, visitors can witness the entire life cycle of many different types. Thanks to their location in south Florida, Butterfly World sees a consistent minimum number of 20,000 butterflies and 150 different species throughout the year. It’s possible to visit Butterfly World at any time of the year and be able to enjoy a wide variety of butterflies.
While butterflies can be found just about anywhere, Florida’s special climate makes it a perfect place for these critters to make their home. As a result, there are many wonderful ways to experience butterflies while in Florida, from simply keeping an eye out for them to planting a butterfly garden to visiting butterfly parks.