Glassberg tells reporters collectors "could wipe out" the Miami Blue

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Wed Jan 9 22:02:18 EST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Cherubini" <monarch at>
Subject: Glassberg tells reporters collectors "could wipe out" the Miami
---Best regards, Fred

> Fred, here are snips from the full article
> (Oh yes I fully expect someone will say Glassberg was quoted
> out of context)
> Paul Cherubini
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> For Glassberg, every day that ticks by increases his fear
> that the butterfly will be gone forever.
> "It's hard to imagine more of an emergency situation,'' he said.
> "The only known colony in the U.S. is this small place in the
> Keys, faced with all sorts of possible threats: hurricanes,
> butterfly collectors, mosquito spraying. Any
> of those could wipe the Miami Blue out.''
>  ------------------------------------------------------------

I have not read any of the related materials (pro or con), nor have I been
in the Keys for many years.  I will just relay this observation and
thought.  In the 70's when it was learned that Chlorostrymon simaethis
larvae were feeding on Balloon Vine pods "all over" the keys and Miami
area -- many collectors soon learned that Miami Blue larvae were in the
pods too.   Now Balloon Vine is a common "weed" to the average south
Florida and Keys property owner.  Balloon Vines can cover huge areas and
just look trashy to the average person wanting to "clean up" their property
(like the folks Leroy mentioned who "manicured" the old Stock Island garden
and in the process eliminated many of the good leps there).  People get rid
of "weeds".  As usual habitat loss is the problem.  In this case the best
habitat is a disturbed area (like a neglected vacant lot).  I bet a lot of
people in the Keys area who want to see the cute little blue protected are
unknowingly killing them off by making sure the ugly Balloon Vine stays off
their yard's fence, golf course, highway right of way, and any where else
that might ugly up the renowned manicured look most of south Florida loves.
So blame everyone and everything else -- but don't blame the residents in
the highly maintained average urban lots or high end estates who have
destroyed its habitat.  Don't blame overpopulation, poor urban planning,
the highway dept., or the Conchs (locals), or recognize the natural alien
species cycles in the Keys.

Ron Gatrelle


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