This is part two of the fall color series. Yesterday's post was part one, Florida Fall Colors.
One of the gems we get here in Florida, are Gulf Fritillary butterflies, Agraulis vanillae. It is in the fall that they emerge from their chrysalis and bless us with their orange jewel tones.
Gulf Fritillaries can be found throughout the southern United States during the fall. They are also found in South America, Central Americas and Mexico. If you are looking to attract them to your yard, try planting Passion Flower vines. This is the only host plant for their caterpillars and also is what their other common name is based on, Passion Butterfly.
After the butterflies emerge, be sure to have these plants in your landscape for nectar. Try Zinnias, Butterfly Bush, Hibiscus, Lantana, and Salvia.
The Gulf Fritillary is named so because of its migration patterns. In the US, the adults overwinter in the peninsula of Florida. With their long wings they have no problem flying over the Gulf of Mexico to get to their winter stomping grounds. During migration, they can be seen flying over the Gulf while out on a boat.
I leave you with this little guy below. This is a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta. They are in the Brush-footed Butterfly family, like the Gulf Fritillaries, but they are not in the same subfamily. The Red Admiral is a True Brushfoot. The Gulf Fritillary is in the Longwing subfamily.
If you are a fellow Southerner, I do hope you consider encouraging these beauties to come to your yard too.
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