The Urban Wildlands Group

The Urban Wildlands Group is dedicated to the protection of species, habitats, and ecological processes in urban and urbanizing areas.

Lange's Metalmark Butterfly


The endandgered Lange's metalmark is a small orange, white, and black butterfly that is restricted to the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge along the southern bank of the San Joaquin River. Although populations seemed robust in thTeam LMB Logoe mid-1990s, they have plummeted in recent years. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing aggressive habitat restoration and a captive rearing program.

The Urban Wildlands Group's captive rearing program -- The Butterfly Project at Moorpark College -- is one of two groups that will receive adult butterflies during this year's flight season (August-September) to initiate a captive population. The project is a collaboration with Gordon Pratt at UC Riverside, CRES Native Seed Gene Bank, Osborne Biological Consulting, Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, and the Sacramento Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Damien Renner designed the Team LMB logo.

News and Updates

February 21, 2012 -- We have larvae hatching at Moorpark College; the cycle begins again. Also, please see our final report for 2010-2011: Captive rearing of Lange’s metalmark butterfly, 2010–2011, which was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

April 10, 2010 -- Nice coverage of the efforts being taken to recover Lange's metalmark, including our captive rearing efforts at Moorpark College.

August 29, 2008 -- Lange's metalmark butterflies reared and successfully mated at the butterfly project at Moorpark College were released into restored habitat at Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. Click for news and videos about the project from the Ventura County Star, Contra Costa Times, and the homepage of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

March 2008 -- First and second instar larvae continue to develop slowly on their buckwheat foodplants.

December 12, 2007 -- Lange's metalmark butterfly larvae have started to hatch from their eggs.

September 6, 2007 -- Lange's metalmark butterflies were collected yesterday by biologist Jana Johnson, consultant Ken Osborne, and the rest of "Team LMB" at the Antioch dunes. These butterflies have been transported to our site at Moorpark College to establish a captive population. Gordon Pratt collected specimens for a separate site in Murietta. The Contra Costa Times reports.

August 14, 2007 -- UWG and collaborators release propagation handbook for Lange's metalmark butterfly in preparation for initiation of captive rearing program.

Reports and Publications

Johnson, J.J., T. Wilson, C. Taylor, Y. Xia, J. Jones, K. Osborne, and T. Longcore. Captive rearing of Lange’s metalmark butterfly, 2011–2015. Report to United States Fish and Wildlife Service, CVPIA Habitat Restoration Program, Agreement No.: F11AP00168. Los Angeles, The Urban Wildlands Group. 67 pp. plus appendices (February 10, 2016).

Clause, A., J. J. Johnson, and T. Longcore. Effect of exposure to gypsum dust on survival of Behr’s metalmark. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group. 4 pp. (July 21, 2015).

Richmond, O. M. W., D. Kelly, and T. Longcore. Lange’s metalmark butterfly threat assessment and ranking of potential management alternatives: final report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region. National Wildlife Refuge System Inventory and Monitoring Initiative. Sacramento, CA, USA. 15 pp. (April 2015).

Johnson, J. J., J. Jones, M. Baudour, M. Wagner, D. Flannery, D. Werner, C. Holden, K. Virun, T. Wilson, Jessica Delijani, Jasmine Delijani, B. Newton, D. Gundell, B. Thummar, C. Blakey, K. Walsh, Q. Sweeney, T. Ware, A. Adams, C. Taylor, and T. Longcore. Captive rearing of Lange’s metalmark butterfly, 2010–2011. Los Angeles: The Urban Wildlands Group (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Project # 2010-0512-001). 22 pp. (December 30, 2011).

Johnson, J.J., T. Longcore, A. Clause, G. Pratt, J. Dunn, and K. Osborne. 2007. Propagation handbook for Lange's metalmark butterfly, Apodemia mormo langei. First edition, August 2007. The Urban Wildlands Group, Los Angeles.



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