I am going to age myself here. In the early 1970's Ms Betty and I purchased a 22 foot Airstream Travel Trailer. Our first trip of any distance was to South Florida and the Florida Keys. Our older son was 6 years and our younger son was almost 3 years old. We saw a Dolphin attraction on Key Biscayne and were beginning the drive down to Key Largo. Our older son announced that he had to "Pee". I pulled into a parking lot for a church and a drove behind the building. There was a large hammock that bordered the church parking lot. We got out of the car and to let my son "pee". As I waited and watched my son whizz away, I saw a Black Butterfly with a bright red abdomen alight near the edge of the hammock. I got my net and as I approached it with net in hand, I knew what it was, Eumaeus atala. In less than twenty minutes I had 8 or 9 specimens.
I would later learn that this colony of Eumaeus atala had only recently been discovered. After I returned home, I let certain people know what I found. They were not happy. I was ask to keep it quite, which I did. However, someone else would find them on Key Biscayne and he told others. Eventually, Key Biscayne would prohibit the collecting of Butterflies.
What a lucky event. I think it was the 70s when the species was near extinct? I read online that the population of an island near Miami was used to repopulate the area. This probably was Key Biscayne. I wanted to see the islands and go to Key West, but it's too far away. I think I'll rather pay a visit to the state park on Key Biscayne.
Seeing them hatch from pupae must be great. I have been at, and inside, of the breeding facilities of the University of Florida in Gainesville. They are still actively breeding them and releasing them in Florida.
Next week I hope to spot some Dagger wings at the Butterfly Gardens in Miami.
On my way to Miami Beach I crossed Gainesville and went to see the butterfly rain forest. This is the third time I have been in Gainesville. It was amazing as most of the flowers were blooming. My previous visits had been February and March.
And the door to one of the most incredible collections on the planet:
Last Edit: Dec 29, 2020 8:41:15 GMT -8 by nomihoudai
great pictures. tou have a picture of a white flower; that is the plant I mentioned in my tread of collecting along the way. it is Eucharis grandiflora and mine are blooming right now .
Yes, exactly. I remembered them from your post and was happy to see one myself. I had never seen them before. I hope that some day I can cultivate one on my own. The rain forest in Gainesville had a lot of them.