Medium sized butterfly with a wing span up to 3 3/8 inches. The upperside is orange and black or brown and black, resembling the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) or the Queen (D. gilippus), but with a black line across the hindwing and a single row of white dots in the black marginal band.
Widespread in North America.
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
All year in South Florida.
Swamp and lake margins.
Eggs are laid on the tips of host plant leaves, 2-3 per leaf.
Caterpillars feed on their eggshells after hatching, then the leaves and catkins (flower stalks) of the host plants. The only native larval host plants is Coastal Plain willow (Salix caroliniana); the nonnative weeping willow (Salix babylonica) is also used. Adults feed on aphid honeydew, carrion, dung, decaying fungi and flower nectar.
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2016. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.