Vanishing Beauty: Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly Losing to Invasive Green Iguana

Miami Blue Butterfly, Photo credit: Jeffrey Glassberg, Ph.D
The Sunshine State is a little less bright and colorful now that the tiny and endangered Miami blue butterflyis facing a new challenge to its survival.  Large Central American iguanas are feasting on the nickerbean leaves this vanishing beauty uses to lay its eggs. These invasive green lizards were likely released by irresponsible pet owners, a similar scenario playing out with massive Burmese pythons that are also threatening endangered Florida wildlife with their fangs, 200 pound constrictor bodies and appetites. In addition to the iguanas, climate change, too much butterfly collecting, pesticides and habitat loss are also potential culprits in the Miami blue’s disappearance.

Find out how real solutions using good science can be used to stop to invasive species that are killing native wildlife, especially endangered species. In time, beauty fades, but the Miami blue butterfly doesn’t have to.