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Below is the latest on our Imperiled Butterflies of South Florida program. To find out more about the program, the species and the Butterfly Bunker laboratory click here: Imperiled Butterflies of South Florida
Check out this hard-rock-loving caterpillar! Ok, so it doesn’t exactly listen to hard rock like AC/DC. It’s more of a Queen type of larva. This species is the ruddy daggerwing, Marpesia petreus. The dorsal spines are not as sharp as you’d think but they do have some stiffness. Exact usage of the spines is unknown but we might assume that it gives a visual deterrence to predators. The ruddy daggerwing larvae uses Ficus spp. as a host plant. They have a wide range from Texas to Bolivia, South America, South Florida and Puerto Rico.