An invertebrate is an animal without a vertebral column - and they probably don't get much of your interest, even if you are interested in wildlife and endangered species.
Did you know that this group includes 95% of all animal species? Yes, that is all animals except those in the Chordate subphylum Vertebrata (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals).
A bit of science history first - the Carolus Linnaeus' Systema Naturae divided these animals into only two groups, the Insecta and the now-obsolete vermes (worms). Then, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle coined the term "invertebrate" in 1793 to describe such animals and divided the original two groups into ten, by splitting off Arachnida and Crustacea from the "insects" and Mollusca, Annelida, Cirripedia, Radiata, Coelenterata and Infusoria from the "worms." They are today classified into over 30 phyla.
On the New Jersey threatened and endangered list, there are 17 invertebrates. For this post, I am looking at the six listed butterflies.
Click name to show fact sheet (pdf)
** indicates Federally endangered or threatened
Endangered in NJ
Threatened in NJ
|Beetle, American burying||Nicrophorus mericanus**||Elfin, frosted (butterfly)||Callophrys irus|
|Beetle, northeastern beach tiger||Cincindela d. dorsalis**||Floater, triangle (mussel)||Alasmidonta undulata|
|Copper, bronze||Lycaena hyllus||Fritillary, silver-bordered (butterfly)||Bolaria selene myrina|
|Floater, brook (mussel)||Alasmidonta varicosa||Lampmussel, eastern (mussel)||Lampsilis radiata|
|Floater, green (mussel)||Lasmigona subviridis||Lampmussel, yellow (mussel)||Lampsilis cariosa|
|Satyr, Mitchell's (butterfly)||Neonympha m. mitchellii**||Mucket, tidewater (mussel)||Leptodea ochracea|
|Skipper, arogos (butterfly)||Atrytone arogos arogos||Pondmussel, eastern (mussel)||Ligumia nasuta|
|Skipper, Appalachian grizzled (butterfly)||Pyrgus wyandot||White, checkered (butterfly)||Pontia protodice|
|Wedgemussel, dwarf||Alasmidonta heterodon**|
If you have an interest in butterflies, you many want to check into the North Jersey Butterfly Club which is a chapter of the North American Butterfly Association. It is a non-profit organization working to promote the public enjoyment and conservation of butterflies.
One way to get involved is in raising butterflies from your garden.
The Butterflies and Moths of North America website has maps, species accounts, checklists, and photographs of butterflies and moths (endangered or not) and includes a section on New Jersey species. For example, you can find detailed information on the Arogos Skipper.