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

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Thu Jan 10 04:20:09 EST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Walker" <MWalker at>
To: "'Ron Gatrelle'" <gatrelle at>; "Leps-l"
<Leps-l at>
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 3:28 AM
Subject: RE: Glassberg tells reporters collectors "could wipe out" the
Miami Blue


I've looked for
> Balloon Vine with Dave Fine (he's out of Ft. Lauderdale) on several
> trips throughout the keys in the last three years, and whenever it shows
> - it is quickly mowed, pruned, or destroyed by mosquito spraying.
> Mark Walker

I forget the exact year, but back in the late 70's on one of my rare
collecting trips to the Miami area I found that Balloon Vine occupied
several acres at just one spot on Key Largo.  It was on the Atlantic side
and the area was an abandoned Motel or a partially constructed one  - the
place was an ugly weedy mess.  However, the Miami Blues were thick.  They
were "in my way" as I was looking for simaethis hairstreaks.   There were
thousands of seed pods and just about everyone you looked inside of had
larvae of one or both species in it.  There were areas on the mainland
too - a great many of the places I went in the south Miami area had Balloon
vine.  It really is a scraggly trashy looking vine - that would go well up
into the low trees.

One of the things Glassberg mentioned as a "threat" to the Blues and other
leps was Hurricanes.  Well, hurricanes at the southern tip of Florida and
the Keys are only a "threat" to people.  They have been a vital part of the
ecology of that area for thousands of years.  Species like the Miami Blue
and Schaus Swallowtail are dependant on disturbed areas which are the only
areas their second growth hosts can be found.  Hurricanes open things up so
these other plant communities can compete.  Like fire in Yellowstone, the
Keys are dependant on Hurricanes to rejuvenate the habitat and preserve the
natural cycles.  "Old growth" may be great for climax trees but is stinks
for just about everything else. This is why massive forest and prairie
fires, and Hurricanes, and floods, and ice ages and continental drift are
part of the ecological mix on this living rock we call Earth.  Humans are
mostly idiots, which is evidenced by how little they know about what is
really taking place in Nature (outside of the Discovery channel).


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