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Florida State Butterfly
Adopted in 1996.
The zebra longwing, Heliconius charitonius, is commonly spotted in south Florida, especially in the hammocks and thickets of Everglades National Park. It was adopted as the state butterfly of Florida in 1996.
The longwing is not so common in northern part of the state. The zebra longwing roosts in a flock with its kin. The longwing sleeps so soundly that you can literally pick it off its roost and return it later, without waking any of the rest of its family. The longwing is so comfortable with its perch, it also faithfully returns to the same perch every night. During the day her flight is slow, feeble, and wafting, but she can quickly dart to shelter if threatened or approached.
Many states have selected insects as one of their state symbols, however nine states (out of 50) have no official state insect as of 2008.