Our most excellent trip leader, Alana Edwards, picked us up at the Miami Airport on Friday afternoon to kick off the Sunstreak Tours "South Florida and the Keys" trip from May 12-20.
Based for most of the trip at the Quality Inn in Florida City broken up by two nights at the Holiday Inn Express on Marathon Key, our group of seven butterfliers would hit quite a few
locations south of Miami, head into the Everglades, and drive all the way down to Key West, picking up a total of 62 species along the way of which 21 were "lifers" for me. Several of the folks on the trip
had done this trip with Alana before and had pretty good ideas of where and what to look for, but everybody still got at least one new species and enjoyed a number of interesting other sightings.
Following are some of my photos from the trip, starting with
a few of the more interesting critters, bugs and birds, before getting to pictures of 45 of those butterflies.
Our first day turned up one of my target species, both adults and the caterpillars of the Atala, along with the Florida variation of the Viceroy and a good number of other species.
On Sunday, our big day in the Everglades, the mosquitos went from bad to ridiculously annoying, but were worth it for good looks at a Florida Leafwing. Appropriately armored against them for the remainder of the trip,
they were never anywhere near as bad, and we'd be treated the next day to a rare Schaus' Swallowtail posing for photographs for at least 40 minutes, and the following day rewarded with a sighting of
the Amethyst Hairstreak along with several other new species for me. Every day provided even more new ones for me and it's always fun sharing those moments with the rest of the group.
Click on any of the thumbnails for the full sized image.