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Copyright by: Beryn Harty
Small butterfly with a wingspan up to 1-3/8 inches. The upperside is black in color with some blue patches. The underside has a bold white postmedian line on both the forewing and hindwing and a large, blurry submarginal orange eyespot. The hindwing has one long tail and one short tail. The small, sluglike green caterpillar has short hairs.
South Florida, Florida Keys, West Indies
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Locally uncommon to locally common in South Florida all year; locally uncommon all year in the Keys.
Shrubby, sunny coastal areas and edges of tropical hammocks.
Three or more broods per year.
Young caterpillars feed mostly on the flower buds and new leaves of host plants. Older caterpillars can feed on older leaves, flowers and fruits. Native larval host plants include baycedar (Suriana maritima) and Florida trema (Trema micranthum). Native nectar plants include jack-in-the-bush (Chromolaena odorata), narrowleaf yellowtops (Flaveria linearis), sea-lavender (Tournefortia gnaphalodes)and wild-sage (Lantana involucrata) and the weedy native Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata).