I wanted to apologize for my lack of rambling of late, it appears the Earth Day Plant Sale takes a fair degree of ones time. That being said I wanted to call your attention to two species of butterfly that in years past were staples of our exhibit but in recent years disappeared entirely from our fauna.
The first species is one of our dead leaf mimics, the Autumn Leaf (Doleschallia bisaltide), which hails from a wide range of southeast Asia from eastern India to NE Australia. When open this species is a very nice shade or orange and it will often bask in the sun, showing off that color. Like any true leaf mimic, there is a great deal of variability with the Autumn Leaf as there are many kinds of leaves out there to mimic. Some will be lighter than others, others will have white spots in seemingly random places.
Our next leaf mimic prefers things on the lively side. This is the White-Angled Sulfur (Anteos clorinde), from the tropics of the new world. Like other sulfurs, they will not open their wings to bask, which is a shame because you miss the pale yellow punctuated by a large bright yellow spot on either forewing. Both of these species are out and about now and I can’t promise if they will become regulars once more or if this is your only chance to see them. However, if you get the chance, I recommend swinging by to admire their mimicry.
Florida Museum photos by Ryan Fessenden