Celebrating and conserving the ecological richness of California's grasslands


Species Spotlights

Species Spotlight: Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus spp), by Jeffery T. Wilcox, Grasslands, Summer 2018

Species Spotlight: Ohlone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela ohlone), by Dana Terry, Wildlife Biologist, Garcia & Associates, Winter 2013

Species Spotlight: Crab Spider (Misumena vatia), By Jeffery T. Wilcox, Grasslands, Summer 2017


Xerces Blue Butterfly  (Glaucopsyche xerces)

  • The Xerces Blue Butterfly is the first North American butterfly species known to go extinct because of human activities that reduced its habitat in San Francisco. 
  • The Xerces Society was named after this butterfly, declared extinct in the 1940s.

Mission Blue Butterfly (Icaricia icarioides missionensis)

Laws A. 2019. Climate change and grass-specialist butterflies of the Central Valley. Grasslands 29 (2): 8-11. 

Research Articles: 

Luong JC, Turner PL, Phillipson CN, Seltmann KC. 2019. Local grassland restoration affects insect communities. Ecological Entomology. https://doi.org/10.1111/een.12721

Callaghan, C.T., Bowler, D.E. and Pereira, H.M. (2021), Thermal flexibility and a generalist life history promote urban affinity in butterflies. Global Change Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15670

Species respond to increased urban expansion in three ways: urban exploiters, urban adapters, and urban avoiders. Planting butterfly and pollinator-friendly plants in urban areas benefits the first two types of butterfly species but specialists will need conserved areas to survive.

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