The Miami blue is a small blue butterfly found only in Florida and is one of the most critically endangered butterflies in the United States.

Today, the only known wild populations can be found in the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges in the Florida Keys. They occur on isolated islands and can be found along beaches.

Habitat of the Miami Blue Butterfly

The Florida Keys are composed of over 1,000 small islands and contain a variety of different habitats. The Miami blue butterfly thrives in these coastal areas, especially along beaches.

These beach ecosystems are dynamic places that change with shifting sands and storms. Beaches in the Florida Keys are harsh environments, exposed to high winds, salt water spray and occasional flooding, extreme heat, and seasonal droughts. These beaches are home to a diverse array of plants and animals that are uniquely adapted to these conditions.

The Miami blue’s host plants, Keys blackbead and grey nickerbean, are both common on South Florida beaches. In addition to their host plants, the Miami blue butterfly also requires nectar flowers in order to survive. Some of their preferred flowers include scorpion tail (Heliotropium angiospermum) and snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea).

Additional Resources

Daniels Lab at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

Gatorade fuels endangered Miami blue butterflies

Grants help Miami blue butterfly conservation efforts

Miami blue butterfly conservation

Miami Blue Coloring Book

This coloring book tells the story of the Miami Blue, a critically endangered butterfly found only in the Florida Keys.