Great Southern Whites and Tripletail, Too!

Conservation, Fish & Fishing, Great Outdoors, Random ThoughtsLeave a Comment

Mating butterflies copy

These mating giant swallowtail butterflies no longer show up in masses along Florida’s Indian River Lagoon Coast like the great southern whites.

For the past two weeks, a voluminous kaleidoscope of great southern whites has invaded the IRL Coast. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. These butterflies are native to Florida, and use only a few native Florida plants as their egg larval hosts (Virginia pepper grass, saltwort, limber caper, and sea rocket). You’re probably wondering why I’m watching these hordes of great southern whites, and I’m going to tell you.

JK Tripletail Cropped copy

Captain John Kumiski celebrates the catch of an average size tripletail we took outside Port Canaveral last spring.

It took years, but by journaling the details of my guiding adventures, I learned the spring exodus of butterflies coincided with the annual spring and early summer migration of tripletail along our IRL coast. It’s probably not surprising that in my book, Enjoying Life on the Indian River Lagoon Coast, I’ve placed a great emphasis on the phenology of the Indian River Lagoon Coast. I put everything that I observed over the years into my journal. Ans as a self-trained naturalist and IRL guide, I discovered the importance of watching for the changes in the seasons. Not by following the calendar, but by being alert to the seasonal evolution in nature.

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