Hermes Copper Butterfly

The Hermes copper butterfly, Lycaena hermes, is a rare butterfly endemic to the coastal sage scrub (CSS) community in San Diego County and northern Baja California. Conservation groups and wildlife agencies recognize that Hermes copper is threatened or endangered by recent urbanization and wildfires; however this species has yet to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Until recently, relatively little was known about Hermes copper and this lack of information resulted in negative 90-day findings by Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list the species in 1993 and 2006. However, in 2010 a positive 90-day finding was issued, and the species is currently being reviewed for listing. Our work provides an initial evaluation of Hermes copper populations on conserved land in San Diego County from the 2010 flight season.

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