Miami Beach Botanical Garden’s Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Rescue Mission

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach Botanical Garden’s Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Rescue Mission:

Turn in the pesky caterpillars, help a butterfly thrive

It’s not often that an unpleasant problem has a beautiful solution but that is what the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is offering. 

Those “hungry caterpillars who gobble up citrus leaves to the frustration of South Florida citrus growers?” Turns out they transform into the largest butterfly in North America – with wingspans that can be more than 6 inches – and, according to the Botanical Gardens, “arguably one of the most beautiful: the Giant Swallowtail.”

Now you can get rid of the pesky caterpillars and give them the opportunity to thrive by taking them to the Botanical Garden, Tuesday through Sunday from 9am-4pm. “Garden staff will attach the leaves with the caterpillars to our native Wild lime trees. These trees are the butterfly’s native host plant and is beneficial for birds, caterpillars, and other important wildlife,” the Garden’s latest newsletter says. If you need help identifying the caterpillars, see photo below.

The effort is a project of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Bound by Beauty’s Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar and Citrus Rescue Squad.

For more information on dropping off caterpillars at the garden, please email To join the Citrus Rescue Squad, please email Mary Benton,

Photo (top) courtesy Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Photo (below),


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