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Wildlife Program will host Butterfly Program Aug. 24

By Susan Strawbridge Posted on August 22, 2017

A special program on “The Hidden Lives of Butterflies, Moths, and other characters with more than four legs” will be given by Jeff Rundell, a Park Volunteer and retired biology teacher, on Thursday, August 24, 2017, starting at 1:00 pm in the Florida Room at the park’s main entrance and Visitor Center located on US 19.

Rundell is a volunteer at the Park, where he does outreach and works in the Discovery Center and has created and mounted a variety of displays.

He spent his career teaching Biology in the Adirondack region of northern New York. He is a product of the State University of New York and has done graduate work in Minnesota and in Ohio. He is an officer of the Orchid Lovers Club in Spring Hill and has a collection of plants that he terms “out of control.”

What is the difference between butterflies and moths? Image courtesy of Ralph Bischoff

This program discusses the differences between butterflies and moths and gives suggestions on host and nectar plants to add to your landscaping to attract butterflies. Rundell will also be talking about some other interesting insects.  There is no charge to attend this program and there will be hand-outs available.

About Florida’s Butterflies: Did you know…that there are 170 species of butterflies that are native to Florida? Butterflies, along with moths, compose the group Lepidoptera, or scale-winged insects. Most butterflies’ lifespan is only a few days to several weeks.

Some exceptions include the Zebra butterflies that can live for several months and the Monarch that overwinters and can live 8 months or more.

Zebra Swallowtail butterfly image by Ralph Bischoff.

Butterflies start arriving in the spring with Swallowtails, Cabbage whites, and Gray hairstreaks being some of the first arrivals.

March is the peak of the season with the first generation having passed by April.

The period from mid-April through June sees the appearance of Banded hairstreaks, and Striped hairstreaks. The second generation of Swallowtails and some other butterflies also emerge during this time.

Zebra longwing is the state butterfly of Florida. Image courtesy of Dennis Bedard.

The greatest abundance and diversity of butterflies occurs from August through mid-October. Resident species are at their peak numbers and are joined by many migrating butterflies, including Cloudless sulphurs, Common buckeyes, Monarchs and the Long-tailed skippers as they fly South by the millions.

This event will take place Thursday, August 24 starting at 1:00 pm in the Florida Room inside the Visitor Center of the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd. (US 19) in Homosassa, Florida 34446.


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