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Destroying Habitats May Lead To Californian Butterflies Extinction

These butterflies boast a striking orange and tan colouration; a sun-kissed look that matches perfectly with their home in northern California. The callipe silverspot used to live in grasslands across the San Francisco Bay area, but unfortunately many of their original habitats have been urbanised, putting them under threat. Cities like Oakland. Berkeley and San Francisco are all built on land where these butterflies used to breed and thrive.

An adult’s wingspan is just over two inches.

The introduction of non-native plants has also become problematic for the callipe silverspot. The species depends on violets, which provide vegetation for caterpillars to munch and floral nectar for adult butterflies to feed on. Since other plant species have grown dominant in the silverspot’s territory, populations have sadly decreased and they are now federally classified as endangered.

The majority of callipe silverspots can now be found on protected land in San Bruno Mountain in northern San Mateo county, California. Other endangered butterflies also live here, including the San Bruno elfin and Bay checkerspot.

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