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Butterfly decline signals trouble in environment

Butterflies are the essence of cool in the insect world, a favorite muse for poets and songwriters, who hold them up as symbols of love, beauty, transformation and good fortune.

But providing good fortune apparently goes only one way. As humans rip apart woods and meadows for housing developments and insecticide-soaked lawns, butterflies across the country are disappearing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that two brown, mothlike butterfly subspecies are probably extinct in South Florida, which some entomologists say is ground zero for the number of butterfly species on the verge of annihilation.

The rockland grass skipper went missing in 1999, and the Zestos skipper hasn’t been seen since 2004. Several other species, such as the ebony-and-ivory-colored Schaus swallowtail, are listed as endangered, and many others are threatened, including the silvery Bartram’s hairstreak.

“We look at it as a signal that we’ve got a serious problem with butterflies and other insects and pollinators here in Florida,” said Larry Williams, a supervisor for the ecological services program at the Fish and Wildlife Service. “We’re looking at this as sort of a wake-up call that we need to be watching butterflies more closely.”

Quoted from The Washington Post

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Comments (57)

Eva Kaprinay on August 23, 2010


Marbiz on August 24, 2010

Sure is pretty!

Scaravonati on August 28, 2010

Very beautiful capture and colors, like 18! Best regards from Brazil, Gilmar

Svein-Magne Tunli on August 30, 2010

Beautiful colors - great composition!

Greetings from Norway


cindy555 on August 31, 2010

Very beautiful Jean



((Ospr3y)) on September 2, 2010

Amazing!! This is actually a Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus). The Pipevine Swallowtail would be much less marked on the inner side of the wings and the markings would be blue.

Love this photo, by the way!

Like and YS

Cheers from Georgia


Sandy065 on September 8, 2010

Splendid! Like

©junebug on September 11, 2010

This is also a wonderful capture, Jean! Both the butterfly and the flowers are absolutely beautiful! I'm keeping this one in my favorites and of course I like it a lot! Greetings, Anne

diannemcd on September 12, 2010

Wow Jean a definite Like and favs. for me, absolutely beautiful, and magnificant when enlarged. Great macro work. Dianne

manegivi on September 22, 2010

very good!!!!!!!!

Florencio Esteban Po… on October 1, 2010

Wow, what a beautiful macro! Great job Jean.

© Douglas MacGregor on October 3, 2010

After looking at some of your nature shots I have decided I need a better camera! They are fantastic!

matsljungberg on October 22, 2010

Very good composition with the butterfly and the lily and the contrast between them. Like. Greetings from Sweden, Mats.

Jean Gregory Evans on October 24, 2010

Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate your compliments and Likes. Your words make me happy!

Amelia, I like cabbage whites too. :)

Liam, thank you for helping with the identification!

Tina* on June 9, 2012

Maravilhosas cores, achei muito bom! L+F. Saudações, Tina

Tomros - undecided n… on October 27, 2013

Just great!

Beautiful capture!

Like 29.

greetings, tomas

HonzaPísek CZ on November 22, 2013

Amazing picture ! LIKE ! Best regards , Honza

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 30, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Jean Gregory Evans
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
    • Taken on 2010/07/29 15:44:35
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 100.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.700
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash