Schinia of southern Florida and other records

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Sat Sep 25 08:53:33 EDT 1999

You're right; this is much more fun. 
May I request that you give us a hand with our current project, mapping
scrub habitat fragments with the hope of preserving and restoring ... 
BellSouth Pioneers, who are publishing and distributing our butterfly
gardening booklet in the Florida schools etc., have agreed to publish
and distribute posters, coloring books, plant lists and gardening
instructions for people who live in or near scrub habitat. 
All we need to do now is generate the materials. 
I believe local nurseries will be as generous with this project as they
are with the butterfly gardens. They donated many thousands of plants. 
The scrub jay is an elegant poster child, but we need good, recognizable
sketches of some of the insects children might see. Maybe a spider or
two ... 
Sound like fun? 
Anne Kilmer
Lake Worth
(561) 585-1935

Leptraps at wrote:
> To whom it may concern:
>  am relatively new to LEPS-L and have read all the "to release or no to
> release" comments on the ongoing debate. I refuse to take part in such
> mindless chatter. Although new to LEPS-L, I have been a lepidopterists for a
> long time. Only a few messages have increased our knowledge of Lepidoptera.
> Here is my in put.
> How far south in Florida do Schinia moths occur? I began to work on that
> questions in 1998. I currently have records of and have collected specimens
> of 13 species in Martin County. The Majority from the sand ridge habitats,
> especially those in Jonathan Dickenson State Park. (I have a permit).
> To date I have taken the following: Schinia scissoides, Schinia spinosa,
> Schinia fulleri, Schinia petulans, Schinia rivolusa, Schinia nubila, Schinia
> saturata, Schinia trifascia, Schinia tuberculum, Schinia sanquinea, Schinia
> arefacta, Schinia sordida, and Schinia carolinensis.
> This most recent find, a single male of Schinia fulleri was collected in a
> light trap Wednesday night 22 Sept 1999. I believe there are 3 or 4 more
> species yet to be discovered in Martin County. I have operated light traps in
> several locations in Palm Beach County this year, and to date have found  3
> species. Schinia nubila, Schinia saturata, and Schinia sordida.  I have only
> operated one light trap for one night in Broward County and took several
> Schinia nubila. I have collected Schinia sanquinea in Dade and Collier County
> in 1989. David Fine Collected Schinia gaurae in Collier County on Marco
> Island in June of this year. With the exception of Schinia sanquinea, all of
> these are new records (to the best of my knowledge). How many species occur
> in counties of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach is unknown. These counties have
> lost much of their habitats due to development.How many species actually
> occured will never be known.
> There is a significant population of Schinia carolinensis in Jonathan
> Dickenson State Park. It was extremely abundant in 1998 and rather scarce
> this year. This is a seldom encountered species over most of it's range.
> Now, doesn't that beat "to release or not to release"!
> Much can be said for "getting among em", as Charlie Covell would say. I have
> spent a good deal time poking around remnant hammocks in southern Dade
> County. I may regret this report, but I found Chlorostrymon maesites in
> several of them in May and June. A rather bright little thing. I took two
> females at a hammock that were in the tops of Lysiloma latisiquum trees. I
> confined them with some cuttings and they produced about thirty ova. Needless
> to say, that is all. No larva came forth. These trees were about 40 feet in
> height. I have seen several Chlorostrymon maesites flying in the tops, but my
> eye sight and coordination are not what they were thirty years ago when I
> took my first specimens at 40 feet in trees on Stock Island in the Lower
> Keys. I was ask what brought Chlorostrymon maesites back. I do not think that
> Chlorostrymon maesites ever left. Chlorostrymon maesites is a creature of
> tree tops and is seldom encountered on the ground or at flowers near the
> ground. Although I have taken it on Eupatorium on Key Largo in December a
> number of times in the early 1980's. I also found a Chlorostrymon maesites in
> 1991 in a hammock south west of Homestead. I have visited that hammock
> several times in 1998 and 1999 without finding a trace. If you want to find
> Chlorostrymon maesites, keep looking up!
> Recently Ron Gatrelle in his "Taxonomic Report" describe Neonympha helicta
> from Dade County. I assumed them to be Neonympha areolatus, however, Ron
> thinks otherwise. I found them around the abandoned Coast Guard Station on
> Card Sound Road just east of US 1 in 1989, 1990 and 1991. I haven't seen one
> since. I was even permission to collect on the station and a key to the
> gates. (Now say what you will about the government, but they have never said
> no to me when I ask to collect on their property. They even give me keys!)
> Ron thinks this population may be endangered. I believe they are still there,
> I just haven't been there when they are on the wing. I am sure there are
> black helicopters there as well, although they are not there when I am!
> There has been much talk of natural selection and rearing larva indoors. I
> recently found several hundred larva of Pseudoshinx tetrio on several
> Plumeria ssp trees in the yard of a home in Boynton Beach. I collected
> approximately 150 of them when the Orkin man arrived. He made a natural
> selection, diazonine of course, and finished the rest off. About 50% of the
> individuals that I took had parasites. A very small fly. The parasites got
> there before me. I collect many larva and complete them indoors. It works for
> me.
> The safest place for a mass release of butterflies is in the Florida Keys.
> They don't stand a chance of surviving.  Natural selection will get them,
> diazonine of course, the natural selection of mosquito control.
> One final note. Hurricane Andrew damaged much of the remaining hammocks in
> Dade County. Several leps have not been seen since Andrew blew through in
> August of 1992. They are Hemiargus thomasi, Chlorostrymon simaethis, Eunica
> monima, and Epargyreus zestos. I will keep poking, you never know what you
> can find!
> Leroy Koehn
> Lake Worth, Florida

More information about the Leps-l mailing list