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More butterflies on the brink


Florida's butterflies are disappearing fast. According to research by scientist Marc Minno, the Florida Keys may have recently lost 10% of its native butterfly species, and others may soon follow.

Among the once-common, but now rare or unseen species: the Bahamian swallowtail, two species of skipper butterfly, Schaus' swallowtail, the arogos skipper and Southern dusted skipper.

Habitat loss has hurt many of the species, but Minno believes that invasive South American fire ants are also to blame.

According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, more than two dozen Florida-based butterfly species are endangered (or even maybe extinct), but only two have any state or federal protection as endangered species.

Previously in Extinction Blog: "Britain's butterflies, dragonflies disappearing fast"