Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fluminense Swallowtail

Earlier this week, I posted some recollections about a butterfly book that I had received as a birthday present when I was a child. Butterfly Girl left a comment wondering if any of the species in the book had become extinct following its publication in 1965. Unfortunately, this is an excellent question. The good news, is the answer is no. Many of the species in the book are very common within their home ranges. Several are species that we now display in the Butterfly Haven exhibit. Unfortunately, at least one species in the book is in serious trouble, and hangs on by a very slender thread. It’s also one of the most beautiful in the book, and remains a favorite that I would love to see someday.

The Fluminense Swallowtail (Parides ascanius) is very rare because it inhabits a rare type of wetland called a restigia that is found in the Atlantic coastal rainforests of Brazil. Rainforests in general fared poorly in the 20th century, however the Brazilian Atlantic coast rainforests did especially poorly. The main problem is that they occupy a very populated part of South America. These are the ecosystems that have been displaced by cities such as Rio de Janeiro. Efforts continue to protect the butterfly, however it’s future is very uncertain.



At 22:38, Blogger Ur-spo said...

that's a sad tale, but not surprising in this day and age.

At 09:04, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's gorgeous! (I LOVE pink and black!) It is a shame then that it is in such trouble.

At 18:38, Blogger Peregrina said...

Mr. Taron,

It's terrible. I live near by (State of Rio de Janeiro, in a small town on the coast) this beautiful animal all my life and didn't know anything about it. I feel too bad. But some people are trying change this situation: it's very difficult.
Congratulations for your blog.

peregrina (portuguese) = pilgrim.


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