(Miami Herald) By their nature, South Florida’s tropical butterflies have always been ephemeral creatures, coming and going with the rhythms of the life cycle and season. Now they’re just gone.
In what may be an unprecedented die-off, at least five varieties of rare butterflies have vanished from the pine forests and seaside jungles of the Florida Keys and southern Miami-Dade County, the only places some were known to exist.
Marc Minno, a Gainesville entomologist commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to perform a major survey of South Florida’s butterfly population, filed reports late last year recommending that the Zestos skipper and rockland Meske’s skipper — both unseen for a decade or more — be declared extinct.