Wednesday, December 16, 2009: 4:45 PM
Room 103, First Floor (Convention Center)
Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii is a federally endangered species with protected populations in Michigan and Indiana. Populations of N. m. mitchellii are found only in disjunct prairie fens where there is little opportunity for dispersal between sites. Recently, populations of a phenotypically similar butterfly have been found in Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi. These novel populations, currently treated as N. mitchellii, exhibit different life histories and are found in habitats with different host plants and ecological dynamics; to date they have not been extended federal protection. Determination of the taxonomic status of these butterflies will have major implications for the recovery of N. m. mitchellii. Knowledge of local adaptation and taxonomic status is not only of academic interest but has significant implications for biodiversity and conservation planning. This talk will highlight recent efforts to aid the conservation of /N. m. mitchellii/ and determine the taxonomic status of the recently discovered populations.