• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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  • Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable

    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes

Nature and Science

The Schaus swallowtail butterfly is among Biscayne's most celebrated insects.

Photo by Thomas Emmel

The most abundant animals in Biscayne National Park are the insects, the most dreaded being the mosquito. There are also many dragonflies, butterflies, including the critically endangered Schaus swallowtail butterfly, tree hoppers, golden orb spiders, and thousands of others that make the islands their home. The horseshoe crab is included here because it is not a true crab. Rather, it is more closely related to spiders.

The following list includes insects which have been documented in the park. Here they have been sorted alphabetically by common name. The list is not exhaustive, and documented sightings of species not on this list are welcome. Submit your sightings to the webmaster.

Ant, Brachymyrmax obscurior
Ant, Brachymyrmax patigonicus
Ant, Camponotus planatus
Ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi
Ant, Cyphomyrmex minutus
Ant, Dorymyrmex insanus
Ant, Nylanderia bourbonica
Ant, Odontomachus ruginoidis
Ant, Pseudomyrmax cubaensis
Ant, Pseudomyrmax gracilis
Ant, Tetramorium simillimum
Ant, Xenomyrmex floridanus
Atala, Eumaeus atala

Bagworm, Cryptothelea gloverii
Bahama Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio andraemon bonhotei
Beetle, Anomala marginata
Black Witch Moth, Ascalapha odorata

Cassius Blue butterfly, Leptotes cassius
Crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis

Eastern lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera

Faithful Beauty, Composia fidelissima
Fire ant, Solenopsis geminata
Four-Spotted Pennant, Brachymesia gravida
Fulvous Hairstreak, Electrostrymon angelia

Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes
Great Pondhawk, Erythemis vesiculosa
Great Southern White Butterfly, Ascia monuste
Grote's sphinx, Cauthethia grotei
Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae

Honey bee, Apis mellifera
House fly, Musca domestica

Inimical Borer moth, Pseudogalleria inimicella

Julia butterfly, Dryas julia

Large Orange Sulphur, Phoebis agarithe
Little Blue Dragonlet, Erythrodiplax minuscula

Mangrove Skipper, Phocides pigmalion

Miami blue butterfly, Hemiargus thomasi bethunebakeri
Moth, Banisia furva fracta
Moth, Coxina cintipalpis
Moth, Episimus kimbali
Moth, Ethmia confusella
Moth, Eumestleta cinnamomea
Moth, Gonocausta sabinalis
Moth, Massala obvertens
Moth, Oiketicus abbotii
Moth, Synclera jarbusalis

Oak leafroller, Archips semiferana
Orange Julia, Dryas iulia

Parachma moth, Parachma ochrealis
Polydamas swallowtail, Battus polydamas

Queen butterfly, Danaus gilippus

Red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

Seagrape Borer, Hexeris enhydris
Southern Flannel Moth, Megalopyge opercularis
Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly, Heraclides aristodemus ponceanus
Silver-banded hairstreak, Chlorostrymon simaethis
Somber carpet, Disclisioprocta stellata

Tortyra moth, Tortyra slossonia

Variegated leafroller, Platynota flavedana

Watson's Tallula moth, Tallula watsoni

Zebra Longwing, Helicorius charitonius

Did You Know?

Caribbean Spiny Lobster

While lobstering is permitted in Biscayne National Park, the tasty crustaceans are protected in the Biscayne Bay-Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary, where harvest is prohibited year round. More...