Great Southern White Butterfly

South Miami, Florida

Great Southern White Butterfly

We captured the image of this butterfly in our backyard. In the United States, these butterflies are found along the coast from southern Texas, around the gulf of Mexico past and throughout peninsular Florida, and up the coast of the southern Atlantic states. They also inhabit the rest of tropical America into Argentina. They can be common. Occasionally, millions of great southern whites fly along the coastline as much as 100 miles in tight clusters 10 to 20 feet high.

Great southern whites lay eggs, commonly in clusters averaging 20 to 40 eggs, on the upper surface of the leaves of the family of plants (Brassicaceae) that includes cabbage, kale, broccoli, and turnip greens (the last three of which Nancy has grown in her winter garden). These host plants contain chemicals (glycosides) that make the adults almost unpalatable. The eggs hatch after 4-5 day. The larvae eat more than the host plant, starting with their own egg shell, as well as other eggs in their cluster, and sometimes other larvae. The caterpillar of the subspecies found in Florida (Ascia monuste monuste) lasts six to nine days in five instars. Pupation lasts from six to ten days. The adults live about five days for males while females last eight to ten days.

For more information on the life cycle of other Florida butterflies, check out any of the links of our butterfly collection.

Photographic details: Canon EOS 30D camera w/ EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens set at 400mm. Flash was not used. Camera was set for f/11 on aperture priority, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/500 sec at ISO 640. Exposure was boosted another f-stop in post-processing.

To order a print of this image, hit the button to the left. Before you do, you may want to check the maximum size estimates below.

Print details: maximum size Medium Printed Estimated
  Fine Art Paper 10" x 14" 11" x 15"
  Canvas N/A 16" x 22"

Currently In Stock

Although we can print to your specifications any size up to the above limits to the nearest 1/16" with any mat and moulding combinations, we presently have none of these in stock.