This beautiful little butterfly was photographed in the Audubon House landscaping where it is attracted to the Simpson’s Stopper and other native Florida plants.
At first it seemed like something entirely different. A much larger, stranger insect than the little beauty that it is. Probably due to the presence of false antennae at the rear of its wings coupled with the constant side-by-side, up-and-down motion of its wings which made the back look like the front of some larger, very active, fearsome bug when, in reality, it was just a little butterfly that has developed a scary masquerade to ward off predators. This is the compellingly named Southern Oak Hairstreak. A rather hirsute butterfly with an alluring appearance where hair in the insect world always seems an oddity.
Thank you to Ken Gonyo for helping to identify Satyrium favonius.
I have been working on my pollinator garden,about 30 miles south of you. Amazed at the numbers and varieties of butterflies. Haven’t seen this one, but lots of Monarchs, Swallowtails, Zebra Longwings, Sulphurs and Gulf Frits.Atalas,too. Lovely photos.