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Copyright by: Beryn Harty, 2018
Medium sized butterfly measuring up to 3" in length. The upperside is black in color with white spots, a red median band, and a red marginal band. On the underside, the hindwing is mottled in a bark-like pattern. The winter form is smaller and duller, summer form larger and brighter. The caterpillar varies from pinkish gray to charcoal with cream crescent shaped spots and many spines.
North America, West Indies, Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Found throughout the state and particularly common in the spring.
Hammocks, marshes, swamps, yards, parks, and moist fields.
Two broods per year. Green eggs are laid on the tops of host plant leaves.
Caterpillars eat and shelter within folded leaves. Adults hibernate.
Caterpillars feed on leaves of host plants. Larval host plants include the native false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) and Florida pellitory (Parietaria floridana). Adults feed on sap, rotting fruit and bird droppings and only nectar on plants when these are not available.