gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Tue Jan 15 00:19:37 EST 2002
----- Original Message -----
From: Leptraps at aol.com
To: viceroy at GATE.NET ; leps-l at lists.yale.edu
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 10:51 PM
Subject: Re: Miami Blue
The female Miami Blue oviposits on the flowers of balloon vine, as the flowers develops into pods, the larva bore into the pod and feed on the fruit. The pod has four cavities/compartments, when the larva has consumed the fruit/seed in one compartment, it eats a hole through the compartment wall, consumes the fruit/seed, etc., etc. In less than 18 days, it pupates inside the pod. Less than a week after pupation, the pod matures, dries out and is broken apart by the wind, to scatter seeds, AND, this will allow the pupae to escape the pod.
I have never seen ants associated with the Miami Blue.
Several other lycaenids feed on the balloon vines, Strymon melinus. Chlorostrymon simaethis, and Styrmon columella.
Leroy C. Koehn
However the bethunebakeri do eat the larvae of these other lycaenids. When the Miami Blue was common and I was trying to rear simaethis (which at that time had only recently been found in Florida) it was very annoying to find the bethunebakeri larvae (I didn't want) were eating the hairstreak larvae.
On a related note. If I understand things correctly, is it beginning to sound like it is being said that the Miami Blue is absolutely or "only" in one parch of Balloon Vine in all of the Keys and Miami area? I know that it is being said that it is only "known" from one spot. But it seems that the former is also meant? If so, I don't buy that. There are probably several to many other Miami Blue populations in the Keys/Miami area among all those thousands of acres of back-in-the-brush places humans can't (or aren't) get into. Wherever there would be a decent of patch Balloon Vine it is likely there. Granted one may not see many (or any) flying around such a place - especialy if it is a small patch. But that does not mean they are not there. Anyone who has baited or light trapped adult butterflies or gone after larvae on known hosts - knows that often hundreds of more individuals are found this way in areas where adults of X may otherwise not even be seen. Allow the Balloon Vines to grow and it will "show up".
PS Here is the danger I find in stating that a butterfly is ONLY found at such and such a site. That declarative of a statement means it is OFFICIALLY NOT at any other place - and thus, even though (let's use the current situation) balloon vine is present at a site where a subdivision is want to be built just two miles from the known site, it is fine to clear the land as it has already been determined that the butterfly is NOT at that area - or any where else... so build away. It is my opinion that there is a pathetic lack of lepidoptera specific environmental impact studies in this country. But why should there be any -- as the operating assumption seems to be that there is nothing "unusual" in most places butterfly wise as the "rare" butterflies are all in Federal/State Parks or Wildlife Refuges - not in urban vacant lots, or beachfront lots, or old farm fields, or the edge of the city dump etc. !!!
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