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Little Wood Satyr

If you are hanging around shaded swamps and woodland areas, you are guaranteed to see these little ones fluttering around. They are perfectly hidden amongst the brown decaying leaves.

Little Wood Satyr | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Little Wood Satyr | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

If you look closely you can see an iridescent silvery purple tint on the hind wings and slightly on the ridge of the fore wings, depending on the angle and the light. Super cool how the wavy lines on the fore and hind wings match up perfectly when folded.

Host plants are orchard and centipede grass.


Links:

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflower/completeButterflyData.asp?id=42

https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Megisto-cymela

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Orange Milkwort

The Orange Milkwort grows in wet pine uplands or bog habitats. (Bog: a wetland area of soft, spongy ground consisting of decaying plant matter, peat. source: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/bog/)

 

Orange Milkwort | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden

There are a few variations of this of a flowering plant, but the ones that look similar are the Yellow Milkwort and Candyroot. Candyroot flowers are yellow and blooms are close to the ground.

 

 


Links: https://flawildflowers.org/?s=milkwort

Spanish Moth Caterpillar

So far there are two Spanish Moth Caterpillars recorded in Hernando County, both at Chassahowitzka WMA, myself and Pete Kleinhenz, according to Inaturalist.

Caterpillars feed on Spider Lillies and other Amaryllidaceae so I am assuming can be found more wetland habitats.

Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden
Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden

Larvae have six instars, (transformations) emerges out of the pupa stage around eight days and feeding for 17 days and last pupal stage around 19 days. Adults live around 8-10 days that include up to three days of flight and mating.

They don’t live very long, only about two months. Hopefully, I can time it just right to get photos of the moth, because it’s a beauty!

 

Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden
Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden

It was pretty cool how I spotted these because they are very easy to overlook.

 

Every time I would try to photograph a damselfly, it would fly away. I would have back up and follow where it landed,  it happened three times until that last stop I noticed the caterpillars. Kind of neat how nature leads you to the best spots!


Links

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/flowers/spanish_moth.htm

http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Genus.aspx?id=368&display=photos