Welcome to the NABA Sarasota County Butterfly Club website


  • To study and research the populations of butterflies found in our area.

  • To educate ourselves and the community through shared information, to create butterfly gardens, sanctuaries and habitats, to participate in July 4th butterfly count, and to conduct field trips

  • To have fun


If so, join us and learn about butterflies and butterfly gardening and enjoy meeting with people who have similar interests. The Sarasota County chapter is an active group that meets monthly at The Sarasota Garden Club located at 1131 Blvd. of the Arts and offers a variety of speakers, field trips and sharing of butterfly gardening experiences. The club has an extensive butterfly garden open to the public. Many of our members have been working with schools and other local organizations in the community, helping to plant butterfly gardens and educating the public on butterfly conservation.

Wouldn’t you love to join us?

25 Responses to Home

  1. Anne Marie says:

    It is late in the season but i have 2 monarch caterpillars on a healthy milkweed. I put a net to protect them. Once they turn into a chrysalide are they as susceptible to predators? Can I remove the net? ThAnks

  2. Flora Cagno says:

    I live in Manatee County and have established a butterfly garden. The problem is that our county sprays both aerially and via trucks for mosquitoes, which effectively kills my butterflies and caterpillars. I have asked for an exemption but the county will not grant one. Any advice? Thank you.

  3. jonard solie says:

    I have most of my Gardens to support Butterflies. I also have a butterfly cage to put the caterpillars. Then I release them after the become Butterflies. I have one area in my garden that is 18′ x 3′ with milkweed only. Two weeks ago I had about 100 Caterpillars on all the milk weed and they ate the whole thing I had removed about 30 and put in the cage with food and the next day all were dead but 7. When I looked at the garden almost all were dead. When the 7 hatched they were the biggest ones I had ever seen. What do you think happened to the others that caused them to die?

    • Karen L. Rosenbeck says:

      Several things could have happened: either they were infected with a virus or OE (which is a big issue with Monarchs in Florida), or there was something on or in the plants that was poisonous. If the milkweed was a new planting, you’d need to check with your source to see if the plants had been treated with pesticides. Unless you have a big cage, putting 30 in together could encourage spread of any infection, but since they died within 24 hours, it sounds like they were already infected or there was an issue with their food. The ones that survived were either not as exposed or strong enough to ward off whatever was going on.

      This is a good website that discusses diseases and killers of Monarch caterpillars: https://monarchbutterflygarden.net/common-monarch-diseases-prevention/

      Karen Rosenbeck, President, Sarasota County Butterfly Club

  4. Maureen Johnson says:

    I recently moved into a house with a yard that is dedicated to creating habitats for Butterflies. My intention is to insure they remain happy and prosperous. My problem is mosquitos. Any recommendations for non toxic treatment to rid me of these pests?
    Thank you

    • Barbara Rothman says:

      Contact Carol or Wilma at the UF Agricultural Station. They have great ideas on pesticides that are best to maintain the ecosystem balance. There are soaps and oils that might be effective or beneficial insects and if none of the above work they can suggest a chemical that will focus only on killing thepest. They avoid systemic chemicals that wipe out many creatures.

  5. David Hawkins says:

    I Live here in sarasota and would like to purchase Pipe vine to add to the butterfly plants I have already purchased. Does anyone have seeds or started plants?

    • Beverly says:

      Hi David,
      There are quite a few different types of Pipevines (Aristolochia). Some are beneficial for the Polydamas swallowtail and some are beneficial for the Pipevine Swallowtail. The plants I have are hard to transplant.

  6. Karen Rice says:

    Please help ….Bradenton FL (Bayshore Gardens)
    The Aristilochia Grandiflora that once sheltered my front porch is being destroyed by what I have been told are Pipevine Swallowtail catepillars.
    I have no knowledge about butterflies other than how very essential they are to the earth and their beauty. I do not want to destroy them but I need my vine also. SO
    CAN ANYONE HELP ME TO RELOCATE THEM so they may continue to carry out lives? I estimate there are around 100 black cats covered orange knobs on the vine.
    I don’t want to kill them but I need my vine (which I now plan to relocate to another area of my yard where the swallowtails can enjoy it next year.

    If I were to move the whole vine (potted) to another area of th yard (not an easy feat for a near blind 70 year old disabled woman) would this enable the butterflies to survive? Also would they move on to my other ornamental flowers, which I really do not want destroyed?

    I know these are questions you may laugh at but please don’t. I am very serious about saving these beauties and my vine and flowers. Thank you for any assistance you can give me.

    • Karen Rosenbeck says:

      All butterflies have specific host plants that they chose to lay eggs on and that their caterpillars will then use as their food source. The caterpillars on your pipevine are probably the Gold Rim or Polydamas Swallowtail rather than the Pipevine Swallowtail. The Pipevine Swallowtail requires native pipevine plants for survival, and although they may lay eggs on non-native pipevines such as yours, the resulting caterpillars would not survive.
      Caterpillars stick to their host plant and although they may wander if they run out of food, they will not eat other ornamental flowers.
      Back to your problem – moving the caterpillars to another pipevine plant is certainly an option; they would survive the move without any problem. Moving the vine to another location is also an option.
      Although the caterpillars may eat the vine down, they will not kill it. It should come back. Some gardeners actually cut their pipevine drastically each spring and it comes back beautifully.

  7. Rita Barber says:

    I have harvested and dried many (thousands, I think) milkweed seeds from my plants. Would like to share them with anyone who wants any.
    North Port, Florida

  8. Elaine Schweitzer says:

    Lemon Bay Garden Club recently enjoyed a wonderful program by Karen Rosenbeck on butterflies. Unfortunately, I neglected to give her our donation.

    Could you please give me the address to which donations should be mailed? Also to whom do we make out the check?

  9. Chad C.Hardy says:

    Was there a native non-migratory population of monarchs in south Florida before tropical milkweed was brought here ?

  10. Lynn Coppage says:

    Bev- I recently photographed a female Horace’s Duskywing nectaring in our garden on lantana. However, we are told many species of Spreadwing Skippers “look alike” and that some skippers in the genera (Erynnis spp.) can’t be distinguished in the field even by the so-called experts.

    Since the only reliable method of telling the sexes apart involves dissection and we want these beauties to visit us again without adding to their inherent risk, please take a look and see if you agree with our amateur identification of this photo.

  11. joyce haynes says:

    We have some butterfly nets and cages used for raising butterflies. We would like to donate them. Also we have some books on butterflies to donate. Should we bring them to the office at the garden?
    Thanks so much, Joyce

    • Beverly says:

      Thank you very much Joyce. Our members are typically working in our garden on Friday mornings. If that is not convenient for you, please email sarasotabutterflyclub@gmail.com to arrange a time that is better for you. We really appreciate it.
      Choose Joy,

  12. Lois C Roller says:

    I would like to have someone help me plan and purchase plants for my butterfly garden that I am planning to start the first of Septemter. Would someone be able to meet me at your suggested plant place at 730 Mytakka Road. I would be happy to send a picture of my yard where I plan to place them if it would help with how many plants I would need and what kind. Thanks in advance for your help/suggestions.

  13. Joy Aussenhofer says:

    Hi. I’m not a member but I have a question. I’m raising Monarchs and I keep the large caterpillars in a large collapsible mesh laundry basket with milkweed obviously. I found a dead caterpillar hanging from a leaf and it started to attract ants. I pulled it out. My question. Is there an essential that I can keep close by the enclosure without killing the pupa? I have a very healthy group this year :). Can anyone help me? I appreciate it.

    • Jackie Fountaine says:

      What do you mean “an essential”? I raise milkweed in pots and put them in a dry aquarium, changing them out as necessary. I have a screen over top. If the caterpillar was hanging, it was either on a plant that had been sprayed, which happened to me when I got one as a gift, and they all died. Or it had a virus and it was a good thing you removed it. The mesh bag should be washed occasionally with a dilute bleach solution, and rinsed.

  14. Cris Caserta says:

    Hi Beverely,

    I would like to join at this time, but not pay online. I will be getting in touch with you. The main purpose of my joining is to get together with like-minded people, visit each others gardens, and sharing information. Do you also have a “Garden Party” at the end of the season? In other words, I like the idea of comaraderie.

    I find gardening in Florida very strenuous. Many of my so-called FL native/friendly plants do not do so well, while more Northern ones thrive.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Cris Caserta

  15. nikki campbell says:

    Hello my name is Nikki Campbell and I work for Children First in Sarasota. We are interested in finding someone who might visit our classroom with caterpillars and butterflies and show our kids about them. if you can or know of someone who will please let us know. thank you so much!!!!

    • Jackie Fountaine says:

      I will contact others in the club who transport caterpillars and butterflies and see about collaborating to come to your class. How old are the children? When is a convenient time to come, morning or afternoon? Do you have any butterfly plants at Children First? Or space to plant donated plants?

  16. Cris Caserta says:

    Dear Staff,

    I am interested in joining your Butterfly Club. I’m presently active in creating butterfly/hummingbird gardens at my home, it’s very challenging for a number
    of reasons. I’d be interested in having the support and cammeraderie of like-
    minded people.


    Cris Caserta

  17. Ladydiash says:

    This is a really interesting and informative content.

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