Sunday, March 22, 2009

Palos Verdes Blue

If you are a local butterfly lover, you may have already read about the recent release of captive-bred Palos Verdes Blue Butterflies, an endangered species. Yvetta was there to watch the release and sent me these fabulous photos which she said I could share with you. There had been an estimated 220 of these butterflies left in the wild two years ago, but thanks to Jana Johnson and her students, a successful breeding program has been conducted at a laboratory housed at Moorpark College, a community college in Simi Valley. (Another HOORAY! for our community colleges!)

This photo shows the type of boxes that the butterflies were hatched in, and the photo below shows Jana with her students. Each one is holding a bag containing butterflies, 8 males and 2 females. A total of 80 butterflies were released at this site, a vacant Navy property along north Gaffey Street. Other sites include Chandler Preserve, and future sites include White Point Nature Preserve, and Friendship Park. The more sites that they release the butterflies at, the better the chances that the species will survive.

The top photo is a female butterfly, and this photo below shows a male. Their favorite food is deerweed, but in captivity they were fed honey gathered at the Defense Fuel Supply Point property in San Pedro.

"They're worth saving," said Yvetta Williams of Rancho Palos Verdes, a docent for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy who has followed the blue butterfly saga through the years. "This is just fantastic."

Yes, it is. Thanks, Yvetta!


  1. Kudos for our community college system. They heroically serve a huge swath of Californians.

    Many kids in poorer school districts don't have access to college level AP classes. They attend CCs to earn those college credits.

    Although Mark and I attended HSs with AP classes, we couldn't always fit them into our schedule. We attended CCs for those extra classes that allowed us to graduate in 3 instead of 4 years. That's a huge cost savings to families.

    Mark's nephew had a rough time with his health in HS. Subsequently, he didn't have a good GPA and wasn't eligible for a good college. He attended a CC, transfered to a CSU for his BS, and is about to receive a MS at Madison.

    CCs give people a first chance, a second chance, or just opportunities to explore other disciplines. They really deserve more respect and funding.

  2. I loved your blog post about this butterfly. Thanks!

  3. I have linked this article to my blog...hope you don't mind but its such good news to spread!