The Great Florida Outdoors: Mangrove Buckeyes

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Dr. Robert Norman, Clinical Professor, Dermatology, Nova Southeastern University

What is this butterfly?
a. Mangrove buckeye
b. Mangrove velvet
c. Black eyespot
d. Orange striper
e. Big momma

Mangrove buckeye (Junonia genoveva) butterflies can be found year-round in open tidal salt marshes and black mangroves in coastal areas of Florida.

The eggs are laid singly on black mangrove leaves. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the mangrove leaves. Other types of mangrove butterflies have a variety of larval hosts. Female buckeye butterflies are larger than males. If a female buckeye butterfly wants to reject the advances of a male butterfly, she lifts her abdomen into the air. The male cannot pair with her as long as she holds this position. To pair, the male must swing his abdomen under her wings to reach her abdomen.

Get out and look for them in the Great Florida Outdoors! Dr. Norman is an advanced master naturalist graduate of the FMNP program from UF and a board-certified dermatologist based in Tampa and Riverview. He can be reached at 813-880-7546.

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