Miami blue, congeners, emergency listed as endangered spp.

Mike Quinn entomike at
Tue Aug 9 12:54:38 EDT 2011

Another south Florida species declared endangered in emergency action

Christine Stapleton
Palm Beach Post
August 9th, 2011

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this morning that it is
taking emergency action to protect the Miami blue butterfly. The
emergency listing as endangered under the Endangered Species Act
protects the butterfly for 240 days as the service works on a
permanent rule.

The Miami blue is a small, coastal, non-migratory butterfly endemic to
south Florida. Its range once extended  from the Dry Tortugas north
along the Florida coasts to about St. Petersburg on the Gulf coast and
Daytona beach on the Atlantic coast but is now restricted to a few
small, remote islands within the Florida Keys.

Also on Tuesday the Service issued emergency status for the cassius
blue butterfly, ceraunus blue butterfly and nickerbean blue butterfly
as threatened throughout their natural range due to their similarity
of appearance to the Miami blue. These three butterfiles overlap in
range with the Miami blue in south Florida, but their entire natural
ranges include the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Cuba and the Greater

In addition the Service issued a special rule to prohibit the
collection and commercial trade within the United States. Also
prohibited is the import or export of the three similar butterflies.
The Service will not publish details of location of critical habitat
to prevent poachers, vandals and collectors from finding the Miami
blue. Many conditions have led to the demise of the Miami blue,
including habitat destruction, exotic green iguanas, loss of genetic
diversity, hurricanes and accidental harm from humans.

Mike Quinn, Austin
Texas Entomology
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