People travel for many reasons. Some make the journey to visit their families; others, to experience new things. For a naturalist, butterflies lure them to different parts of the country. They go in the hopes of finding species that do not live in their own state.
Florida is one of the best places for butterfly enthusiasts to indulge in their fascination. The Sunshine State boasts of two hundred species; you might encounter one there that you didn’t know existed. With the relatively warm climate, butterflies stick around for more time during the year.
If you enjoy RV camping and want to surround yourself with these beautiful insects, then visit Florida. Here are some popular Florida butterflies that you might encounter on your trip.
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
If you’ve seen a Swallowtail butterfly before, you know that they are a flying wisp of glorious color. Florida abounds with them. Commonly found among citrus plants or at the top of trees where they lay eggs, it’s worth making the climb for a possible glimpse of this winged beauty.
Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
Another large species of butterfly, these dark beauties are known for their black and white striped wings and that splash of red. They are commonly seen in flight as they search for host plants in which to lay eggs. Their preferred plant for nesting is the Pawpaw plant, a plant that is known for being tough to grow, but if you find a patch where they have already sprung up, expect to find the Zebra Swallowtail lurking there!
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Another butterfly with beautiful striped wings, the Zebra Longwing is known for being a lazier flier. They keep to the shade where it can be difficult to spot them. They tend to lay their eggs in shady spots of your garden, and their native host plants are certain varieties of the passionflower family. Try planting passionflower and you might attract a new butterfly family. Please note that some passionflowers, like the exotic red ones, are toxic to their caterpillars!
Perhaps the most elegant of butterflies, Florida has no shortage of Monarch butterflies. They lay their eggs in milkweed, so if you want to find a Monarch butterfly, search for a patch of the plant–or grow some in your garden. Since females will devour the milkweed after laying their eggs, be sure to plant as many patches as you can, so that they will not run out of food.
There are too many Florida butterflies to list in an article–you will have to go RV camping and experience the magic for yourself. To ensure that you do not miss out on Florida’s butterflies, visit state parks known to house hundreds of them.
You can see butterflies all over the state buy many of the State Parks are prime viewing areas because of their large areas of native plants. Visit Big Shoals State Park for a great variety of butterflies to admire. Also consider Crystal River Preserve State Park or Fort Cooper State Park. These are great places to stop your RV and have a memorable vacation.