Miami Blue

John Calhoun John.Calhoun at
Wed Jan 16 08:36:48 EST 2002


To address your question regarding "one" population of C. thomasi, it is
currently confirmed from only a single area in the lower Keys.  I agree that
there must be a separation of "the only population" and "currently KNOWN
population."  Some folks who don't realize how widespread the species had
been sometimes make the mistake that it has always been found in only a
single area.

In addition, we have a single recent reliable observation from Key Largo
(Rick Gillmore; one adult).  Believe me, I, Jeff Slotten, and especially
Leroy Koehn, have searched many old haunts of the species and checked
numerous patches of hostplants throughout South Florida to no avail.  Many
others have also looked during their photographic forays into South Florida.
It also appears to have disappeared from Big Pine Key.  Likewise, the
balloon-vine feeding Chlorostrymon simaethis was not observed for years and
has just been rediscovered on Key Largo last year.  A reduction in
hostplants due to development and tropical storms has likely contributed.  I
would also suggest that other populations of C. thomasi exist, but finding
them will take some effort.  There are many potential areas on the southern
mainland, as far north as Collier County that may still support it.

Our forthcoming paper details its decline and current status.
Unfortunately, it is not yet published, but John Heppner is working
feverously to move it up ahead of schedule.  It should appear in Holarctic
Lepidoptera soon.

John Calhoun


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