CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Viceroy Butterfly Caterpillar (Limenitis archippus)
Adult is a mimic of the milkweed butterflies (Monarch and Queen).
Larval host: willows (Salix spp.) including Carolina willow (S. caroliniana) and weeping willow (S. babylonica); poplars and cottonwoods (Populus).
Adults feed on: “Early in the season when few flowers are available Viceroys feed on aphid honeydew, carrion, dung, and decaying fungi. Later generations feed more often at flowers, favoring composites including aster, goldenrod, joe-pye weed, shepherd’s needle, and Canada thistle” (SOURCE: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: Willow (Salix spp.)