Friday, July 31, 2009

Endangered Invertebrates: The Butterflies

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 tigerCincindela d. dorsalis**
Floater, triangle (mussel)Alasmidonta undulata
Copper, bronzeLycaena 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment