Atala (Eumaeus atala)
This unique, colorful, slow-flying butterfly is only found in the southern tip of Florida. The wingspan is one and a half inches and is black with a vivid red abdomen. It has a red spot and many small blue specks on the hind wings. The bright coloration is a reminder to predators to stay away. The Atala’s host plant is a toxic cycad and the Atala is able to store the toxins in its own body as a natural defense. This butterfly has escaped near-extinction due to many people adding the Coontie cycad plant into their suburban landscapes. Invite this year-round flying butterfly into your yard by planting Coontie today!
See more photos below to help you identify the stages of the Atala butterfly life cycle.