Florida State Insect - Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Florida State Insect

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

The Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charithonia), Florida's official state insect, is a striking and distinctive butterfly species known for its vibrant black and yellow striped wings and graceful flight. These butterflies are native to Florida and can be found throughout the state, particularly in subtropical and tropical habitats. One remarkable characteristic of the Zebra Longwing Butterfly is its unusual behavior of roosting communally in groups, often in the hundreds, during the night. They are also notable for their preference for nectar from specific wildflowers, particularly passionflowers, which contain toxic compounds that make the butterfly unpalatable to predators. This unique adaptation has contributed to their survival and abundance in the Sunshine State, where they hold a special place in the natural heritage of Florida.

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