McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Research

The new McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Research at the University of Florida will open to the public by the end of Summer 2004. The center will feature a tropical jungle that will include live butterflies, storage space for millions of specimens, and research space and equipment for up to 40 graduate students. The center plans to house 8.4 million specimens within the next five years, making it the second largest collection in the world.

  • McGuire Center staff has been working on conservation efforts for the Schaus swallowtail butterfly for about twenty years. In part because of the work done by professors at the McGuire Center, Schaus swallowtail populations have increased to 1,500-2,000 individuals after being down to just a few dozen in the early 1990s.
  • Over the past few years, the Center staff has become increasingly involved with Miami blue butterfly conservation. The Miami blue was added to the permanent list of State Endangered Species in Florida in December 2003 and its management plan has been completed. The McGuire Center staff has already successfully bred the Miami blue in captivity with the hopes of supporting wild populations.
  • The McGuire Center staff has done long-term work to support the Homerus swallowtail butterfly in Jamaica.
  • The McGuire Center is currently developing a citizen monitoring system for butterflies in the Southeast.

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