Rare ‘extinct’ butterfly returns to Florida

According to a report, a rare butterfly previously thought to be extinct is returning to Florida.

On Saturday, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) posted on Facebook the return of the Atala butterfly, also known as Eumaeus atala.

The Atala butterfly appears to be making a comeback as its host plant – the coontie – grows in popularity in gardens and landscapes, the SCCF explained in a Facebook post.

“The coontie is a hardy plant and easily grows without much attention,” said Sue Ramos, a staffer at the SCCF Native Landscapes & Garden Center, in a statement.

“It can grow well in full sun or full shade and poor soil, making it ideal for use in our sandy soils,” Ramos added.

According to the Florida Wildflower Association website, Atala butterflies were thought to be extinct from 1937 until a few specimens were found in 1959.

More Atala butterflies were found on an island off the coast of Miami in 1979, the website says.

The butterfly species has since recovered.

Atala butterflies have black, velvety wings with bright blue or green hues, according to the Florida Wildflower Foundation.

The underside of an Atala butterfly’s wing has three rows of blue or green spots and one large red spot on the hind wing, the Florida Wildflower Foundation says on its website.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/12/rare-extinct-butterfly-is-returning-to-florida/ Rare ‘extinct’ butterfly returns to Florida

JACLYN DIAZ

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