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Butterfly Gallery Title

White Peacock
Anartia jatrophae
White Peacock butterfly

Habitat: Most open, sunny and moist areas such as disturbed sites, pond edges and along roadside ditches
Garden Abundance: Occasional to high
Wingspan: 2.0 - 2.8in
Range: Throughout the US deep south, especially southern Texas and Florida, occasionally straying further northward to South Carolina.
Larval Host Plants: Frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), water hyssop (Bacopa monieri), and Ruellia (Ruellia occidentalis)
Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Primarily low growing plants including frogfruit and Spanish needles (Bidens alba)

As its name implies, the white peacock is a whitish butterfly, but it has light orange wing borders and a lot of gray brown markings. Each forewing bears a single solid black spot and the hind wings have two smaller black dots. The white peacock is a common butterfly of open, weedy sites along waterways or ditches, where its larval host plants typically grow. It has a fast, low, erratic flight and is often difficult to approach. Females are significantly larger than males. Although common throughout southern Texas and Florida, the species regularly moves northward each year to establish temporary breeding colonies.

The small green eggs are deposited singly on the leaves of the host. The mature caterpillar is black with numerous branched spines and tiny white spots. Larvae live exposed on the host and often reach very abundant levels, sometimes defoliating parts of the host plant. The pupa is bright green and hangs from a silken button. Several generations are produced each year.

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