Friday, May 2, 2014

Stalking Leafwing Butterflies in Everglades National Park

I was lucky enough to find two leafwing butterflies on my trip to Everglades National Park.  Both were males perching in a small hammock.  I waved a small orange survey flag in their general direction and each came flying out and aggressively went after the flag thinking it was a female!

This butterfly is nearly extinct and is now only known to occur in Everglades National Park.

 This metallic-looking bee was sleeping on a thistle flower late in the day.  Not a very soft bed!

Dr. Peter May at Stetson University identified this bee as an Osmia species.  He noted that he sees them in the springtime on thistle flowers.

 Roger Hammer showed me this spectacular cowhorn orchid, and said to come back in April to see it flowering.  There were hundreds of flowers on it.  This is a rare native orchid.

 Late in the day the Pygmy Blues were sunning with their wings open.

Liguus tree snails are disappearing from south Florida but are still locally common here in Everglades National Park.  This one is mixed up because it is displaying several different forms on the same shell.  In the past in each hammock the snails had their own special pattern and color form, although they were the same species.  People moved them around and would even destroy entire population so they would have unique specimens in their collection.  Now it's not uncommon to see hybrid forms like this one.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marc. I'm pretty sure the bee is in the genus Osmia. The only time I see them is in the spring visiting the inflorescences of Cirsium horridulum.