Morman Metalmark
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Apodemia mormo

Habitat

Shrub-steppe
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Rocky terrain
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Status

Endangered (Federal)
Red List (Provincial)

Description

The Mormon Metalmark is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 2.5-3.5 cm (1-1.5 in). The wings have white spots against a dark grey-brown surface; the top edge of the front wings are red-brown. Its body is dark grey with subtle white highlights on the abdomen. The eyes are green and antennae have conspicuous black-and white bands.
Caterpillars are dark violet, with six rows of clustered spines, black on top and red-brown at the side.

Morman Metalmarks fly from August to mid-September. They are typically associated with hillsides, dunes, and embankments on barren, sandy, or gravelly soils. These conditions are ideal for the growth of its buckwheat host plant, which provides both food for the butterfly larvae and nectar for the adults.

In Canada, the Mormon Metalmark is found only in the Similkameen Valley

Threats

-Destruction and degradation of habitat
-Pesticide use
-Invasive plants out-compete the larval hostplant Snow Buckwheat and reduce habitat quality.

You Can Help!

-Protect Snow Buckwheat and other wildflowers
-Control and/or remove invasive plants
-Plant Snow Buckweat on sandy or gravelly soils to increase habitat quality
-Protect and conserve wildlife habitat

Resources

Photo: Alyson Skinner
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Photo: Alan Schmierer
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