Special thanks to Ken Gonyo (Class of 2012) for leading a nature guide “training” walk at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area on Saturday, 2/27. Ken & Reva Brugnoli (Class of 2013) have been co-leading the bi-monthly ORCA nature walks for the general public on the first & third Saturdays of each month from November through the first week of April.
Kudos to Cynthia Hersh, Lori McGowan & Donna Winter from the Class of 2016, as well as veterans Reva Brugnoli, Felicity Rask (Class of 2015) & Joyce Thompson (Class of 2006), for participating.
Dennis Fitzpatrick via Ken Gonyo supplied the photo above of The Sighting at the end of the walk on the hammock loop trail — a ruddy daggerwing butterfly (Marpesia petreus). This tropical brush-footed butterfly is said to have 3 broods per year in south Florida. Saturday’s sighting was a first for the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.
Strangler fig (Ficus aurea), shown above with ripe fruits, is likely its larval food. Ever-more strangler figs “appear” at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area as birds feast on their many-seeded fruits. Its leaves & stems contain a white milky sap. To search for ruddy daggerwing larvae (caterpillars), you can look for white “stains” on strangler fig leaves.