The Florida Butterfly Monintoring Network seeks to promote and survey the health of butterfly populations throughout Florida. It brings together volunteers and scientists in a field-based conservation and education program targeting butterflies.

Latest News

Florida Butterfly Festival - The Florida Museum of Natural History will host ButterflyFest: Oct. 23-24, 2010. This event will feature something for everyone. Throughout the weekend, all ages can participate in fun and educational activities, including take-away crafts for children, informative workshops, plant sales and ... [more]

The Butterfly Conservation Initiative - The Butterfly Conservation Initiative is dedicated to the conservation of threatened, endangered, and vulnerable North American butterflies and the habitats that sustain them, with a focus on recovery, research, and education. [more]

Coming Soon! - Downloadable Florida Butterfly ID Sheets [more]

A female (top) and male (bottom) Miami blue butterfly in UF’s captive colony.
Conservation in Action!

Limited to a single remaining population of less than 100 individuals, the Miami blue butterfly (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri) is one of the most endangered insects in the world. Once locally abundant and widespread throughout south Florida, the species lost ground rapidly over the last few decades. By the early 1990’s, known populations were isolated and scarce.  Fear that the butterfly had gone extinct escalated until November 19, 1999, when the butterfly was rediscovered in Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Florida Keys.  This small island of 524 acres, a flagship of the Florida Park system for its popular white sandy beaches and deep turquoise waters, is now the focal point of conservation efforts to save the last remaining Miami blues.

Owing to butterfly’s tenuous current situation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission added the Miami blue to the state’s endangered species list in November 2003 providing the impetus for the start of an aggressive conservation and recovery effort.

Researchers from the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the University of Florida have successfully reared the Miami blue in captivity, with the objective of increasing population numbers and releasing them back into the wild. Now some 28 generations old, the captive colony has produced more than 22,000 individuals. Wild reintroductions have begun in Everglades and Biscayne National Parks with plans to continue the release efforts through 2007. Learn more in Explore: Research at the University of Florida.