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Mormon Metalmark Apodemia mormo


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Mormon Metalmark
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Family: Riodinidae, Metalmarks view all from this family

Dimensions 3/4-1 1/4" (19-32 mm).

Endangered Status The Lange's Metalmark, a subspecies of the Mormon Metalmark, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in California. The rise of San Francisco led to the downfall of this small reddish butterfly. Its habitat, a series of shifting sand dunes interspersed with buckwheat plants, was modified over the 20th century, as sand was removed for building and new plants moved in and stabilized the dunes. The buckwheat plants, on which Lange's Metalmark lays its eggs, did not seed well in the newly solid ground, and as they declined so did the butterfly. Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1980, and a program to return the dunes to their dynamic state was begun. Both the buckwheat plants and the metalmark have responded, and their numbers are on the rise.

Habitat Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Shorelines & salt marshes.

Range Southwest, Northwest, Plains, Texas, California, Rocky Mountains.