Miami Blue Butterfly (Cyclargus [Hemiargus] thomasi bethunebakeri)

The current status is State-designated Threatened.

The FWC received an emergency petition to add the Miami blue butterfly to the list of imperiled species in 2002.  The butterfly was evaluated according to the listing process rules and it was determined the species warranted listing as Endangered.

The butterfly was emergency-listed in 2002, affording it the protections provided under the Endangered Species rule.  Final action was taken in 2003, with the Miami blue butterfly added to the list of imperiled species as Endangered.

In 2002 the butterfly, which once ranged from Hillsborough County on the west coast down to the Keys and up to Volusia County on the east coast, was known to occur only at Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys.  In 2006 biologists discovered a second population in Key West National Wildlife Refuge.

The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the University of Florida, with funding from the FWC and other sources, has been successful in breeding the Miami blue in captivity.  Releases of captive-bred butterflies into the wild have not fared well thus far, but expanded research is under way to learn how to do successful reintroductions.

The revised Miami Blue Management Plan was approved by the Commission at the June 2010 Commission Meeting held in Lake Mary, Florida.  The agenda for the meeting, to which the public was invited, can be found online.  The agenda provides specific links to the supporting documents for each agenda topic.

After the Commission adopted new rules for listing imperiled species in September 2010, the Miami blue butterfly became State-designated Threatened.

Below are Miami blue-related links:

FWC Facts:
Vessels operating in Florida waters must follow U.S. Coast Guard requirements for marine sanitation devices, where applicable.

Learn More at AskFWC