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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
A caterpillar is hidden in this photo, can you find it? Look carefully! This is the martial scrub hairstreak, Strymon martialis. The host plant pictured here is the Florida trema (Trema micrantha) but they also use buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) and bay cedar (Suriana maritima). This is a small butterfly that looks similar to the federally endangered Bartram’s scrub hairstreak (Strymon acis bartrami). Not only do they have different host plants but the martial scrub hairstreak lacks white dots on the underside of the hindwings.
Have you found the caterpillar yet? Look at the top of this Florida trema. Do you see a light green color that resembles a new leaf bud? That’s actually the caterpillar! They don’t have any other means of defense except for camouflage.