Netted Pawpaw

When you start seeing the Netted Pawpaw in mid-February, you can be on the lookout for Zebra Swallowtails.

Paw Paw | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Netted Pawpaw | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden

The fruit from this plant is a favorite treat for Gopher Tortoises and other wildlife.

PawPaw 2
Netted Paw Paw | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden

Links:

http://www.wildsouthflorida.com/netted.pawpaw.html#.XHehmPZFx9A

https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/asimina-reticulata

 

 

Phaon Crescent Butterfly

This little butterfly is the Phaon Crescent, similar to the Pearl Crescent, and the difference is the wing.

Phaon Crescent | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Phaon Crescent | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden

The name comes from the crescent-shaped dots on the wings. Its similar to the Pearl Crescent only its wings are fringed.

Phyciodes phaon 2
Phaon Crescent | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden

It is only an inch and a half, and easy to get close to photographing (macro) when there’s plenty of nectar to gather. Its caterpillar host plant is fogfruit, so that’s another great opportunity to photograph them.

Phaon Crescent | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Phaon Crescent | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden

Links

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/phaon_crescent.htm

https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Phyciodes-phaon

https://bugguide.net/node/view/221

 

Lyreleaf Sage

This is a native wildflower, and with these plants producing a large quanity of seeds they can be found in clusters along the roads. They are also an excellent source for pollinators and photographing butterflies and bees gathering its nectar, just like the Green Sweat Bee in the featured image.

Lyreleaf Sage | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Lyreleaf Sage | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Lyreleaf Sage | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Lyreleaf Sage | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden
Lyreleaf Sage 3
Lyreleaf Sage | February 27 | Alice Mary Herden

At Chassahowitzka WMA, in my observation I see will large quanities bordering the road just before going to any wet area. Which is kind of neat having an array of purple/blue flowers guiding the way to the wetland/swampy areas. Instead of following the yellow brick road, you follow the lyreleaf sage!


Links:

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2018/03/26/florida-wildflowers-lyreleaf-sage/

https://flawildflowers.org/flower-friday-salvia-lyrata/

 

 

Pink Sundew

This is one of my favorite little plants, the Pink Sundew. This is a carnivorous plant, and a pretty one at that.

Pink Sundew | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden
Pink Sundew | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden

Found in wet pineland areas or bogs… nice semi-wet muddy areas, they can spread or be in clusters. This tiny little plant is only around 1-2 inches in diameter and can easily be overlooked and stepped on!

Those shiny dewdrops on the tips of the plant is nectar, very sticky nectar. This is to lure insects to the plant. They do not fold like the venus fly traps, instead the insects fluids are dissolved by the plant.


Links:

http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/drosera-capillaris/

http://www.wildsouthflorida.com/pink.sundew.html#.XHT9DfZFx9A

https://www.plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=DRCA2

 

 

Skyblue Lupine

Supposedly these native florida plants flower in Spring, (First day of Spring is March 20) and these are just a wee bit early, but I am not complaining!

Skyblue Lupine | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden
Skyblue Lupine | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden

Skyblue Lupines are beautiful flowering plants, with soft furry petals and leaves. Once you start seeing these, spring is just around the corner!


Links:

https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/lupinus-diffusus

https://flawildflowers.org/flower-friday-lupinus-diffusus/

 

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar

The Genista Broom Moths Caterpillar. These are tenting caterpillars similar to the Eastern Tent Caterpillars.

Genista Broom Moth on Skyblue Lupine | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden
Genista Broom Moth on Skyblue Lupine | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden

These caterpillars leave silk like strands from leaf to leaf and create a tent or canopy like web for their pupa stage. These moths have 5 instars (stages of life). Two stages are the caterpillar (orange and green), pupa and two adult stages.

Host plants are Skyblue Lupine and False Indigo

Genista Broom Moth 3
Genista Broom Moth Caterpillars  on Skyblue Lupine | February 25 | Alice Mary Herden

 


Links

https://bugguide.net/node/view/132367

http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/lepidopt/Pyralidae/Uresiphita.htm

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2013/03/moth-monday-sophora-worm.html