Butterfly thought to be extinct making South Florida return

A butterfly as soon as considered extinct, the Atala butterfly, is coming again in Florida.

The Sanibel Capitva Conservation Basis stated in a Fb publish on Saturday that the butterfly is making a comeback, doubtless as a consequence of elevated recognition of its host plant, a plant the place a butterfly lays its eggs, coontie.

In line with the College of Florida Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences, the Atala butterfly is the most important and most iridescent “hairstreak” butterfly in southeast Florida.

The butterfly was initially considered extinct as a consequence of overharvesting of its host plant’s root by early settlers. It was believed to be extinct from 1937 till 1959.

“Though nonetheless thought-about uncommon with restricted distribution, it’s now present in native colonies the place its host plant, coontie… is utilized in butterfly gardens or as a decorative plant in landscapes,” the college stated.

The butterfly’s habitat contains Palm Seaside, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, in addition to the Bahamas, Turkos and Caicos, the Cayman Island and Cuba, the place coontie grows.

The College of Florida stated “short-lived” colonies of the Atala butterfly have been launched into Martin, Monroe and Collier counties.

“The coontie is a hardy plant and grows simply with out a lot consideration,” stated a Sanibel Capitva Conservation Basis Native Landscapes & Backyard Heart workers member, Sue Ramos. “It might probably develop effectively in full solar or full shade and in poor soils, which makes it best to be used in our sandy soils.”

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