One of our goals in 2010 was to attract more sulphur butterflies to My Florida Backyard, and we're pleased to announce that we've certainly succeeded. By including host plants like Winter Cassia (Cassia bicapsularis), Candlestick Cassia (Senna alata), and Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), we've been able to draw these butterflies and their caterpillars in droves, and bright flashes of yellow are now a common sight. One host plant in particular seems popular lately, a plant commonly known as Sicklepod Senna (Senna obtusifolia).
The Orange-Barred Sulphur caterpillar is particularly striking with its black stripes and spiricles.
It grows to a length of about 2 inches before creating a well camouflaged chrysalis that looks rather like a leaf, blending nicely with the foliage around it.
The butterfly itself is pretty hard to get good pictures of, like most sulphurs, as it never seems to linger in one place for long. It is a large yellow butterfly with beautiful orange markings. Click here to see a nice picture of one over at Tales From the Butterfly Garden.
It's nice to set goals and actually achieve them, so My Florida Backyard is feeling pretty pleased with our accomplishment. By seeking out and adding the right plants, we've been able to bring several new species to our backyard. This is the ultimate goal of wildlife gardening, and it's very satisfying when you realize you've done what you set out to do!