Butterfly Biome Replenishes Zebra Longwing at the Key West Tropical Forest
Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is proud to collaborate with the Lower Keys Zebra Longwing Project to replenish the Florida Keys population of the Zebra longwing, which is the Florida State Butterfly. While once abundant in the Florida Keys, local populations of this beautiful species were substantially lost in Hurricane Irma in 2017.
The Garden has built a Butterfly Biome structure with native plants for all stages of a Zebra longwing’s lifecycle. Inside the biome, a trellis supports Corkystem passionflower plants; host plant to Zebra longwing, Gulf fritillary, and Julia caterpillars. Nectar plants, such as Blue porterweed, are planted around the passionflowers, in order to provide newly the emerged butterflies with a quick snack before their release. To date, one round of Zebra longwing butterflies have been released into the Garden.
The Key West Tropical Forest is a leader in environmental conservation and education in the Florida Keys and is a ‘hot spot’ of biodiversity with rich and extremely fragile flora and fauna. The Garden is located at 5210 College Road on Stock Island. For more information call 305-296-1504 or visit www.keywest.garden.