Wonderful Great Whites

!southern white by karen schsuter @ orca copy
Karen Schuster sent this photo taken at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area of a male great southern white butterfly (Ascia monuste) on common beggarticks (Bidens alba), a favored nectar source. The yellowish marking on the hindwing is indicative of the male gender.

Great southern white butterflies are found in coastal areas of Florida and along the Gulf Coast to Texas throughout the year. When temperatures warm, this butterfly migrates northward. A typical migration ranges from 20 to 40 miles and lasts for 2 days or less. Male butterflies have a life span of about 5 days, and females last from 8 to 10 days.

A saltmarsh succulent, saltwort (Batis maritima), pictured below, is the primary larval host plant in Florida.
!!!!batis martima

!southern-white-on-bidens
Above is another male great southern white on common beggarticks. Absent is the tiny dark spot on the wing cell found on females seen below in photograph by Bob Montanaro, Pelican Island Audubon Society Office Manager, posing on a sea oxeye daisy (Borrichia frutescens) leaf.

southern white butterfly - bm copy

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