Once common throughout coastal southern Florida, the Miami blue butterfly now ranks among North America’s rarest insects.

While the main driver of the butterfly’s swift decline is unknown, tropical storms, habitat loss and coastal development have dramatically shrunk the Miami blue’s range. The only remaining wild populations of Miami blues live in the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges where they remain vulnerable to climate change, hurricanes and dry spells.

Florida Museum of Natural History researchers are leading collaborative conservation and recovery efforts for Miami blue butterflies by monitoring wild populations, breeding the butterfly in the laboratory and closely studying its ecology to learn how to effectively re-establish it in the wild.

“Theoretically, one storm could wipe this butterfly out.” — Jaret Daniels, director of the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

Florida Museum photo by Geena M. Hill

“This program is an example of why the Florida Museum matters. We’re involved in active conservation, stewarding the planet and protecting Miami blues as a crucial part of Florida’s natural heritage.” — Jaret Daniels

Florida Museum photo by Jeff Gage

Limited-edition beer supports Miami blue conservation

To help raise support for the Miami blue’s recovery, the Florida Museum partnered with First Magnitude Brewing Co. to produce a new limited-edition beer, Miami Blue Bock. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the beer, themed drinking glasses and T-shirts funds the Museum’s Miami blue research program.

Items with the Miami Blue Bock logo sport augmented reality features that provide educational information about the butterfly. With the free Libraries of Life app, mobile device users can scan the logo on cans of Miami Blue Bock, pilsner glasses and T-shirts for a 3-D projection of the butterfly, an audio narrative about its biology and photos of its life stages.​

Download the free Libraries of Life app:

In the News

Miami Blue Bock Launch Party – March 24, 2017

Miami Blue Bock, a medium-bodied, malty, golden lager, debuted at a special launch party from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 24 at First Magnitude Brewing Co., 1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville.

We’re bringing a Pop-up Museum to this event, so come prepared to get hands-on with butterfly-themed activities!


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