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ANIMALS

The Palos Verdes Blue: The Beautiful Butterfly That Wasn't Extinct After All

Bess Lovejoy
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia // Public Domain
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia // Public Domain / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia // Public Domain
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Terrible extinction news frequently makes the headlines, but sometimes, conservationists declare defeat too early. The Palos Verdes blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis) is one such example: Presumed extinct in 1983 after it seemed to vanish from its habitat in California's Palos Verdes Peninsula, it was discovered flitting among the grass in San Pedro again 11 years later.

Aside from coming back from the edge, the butterfly is notable for fuzzy wings that look brownish when closed, but a stunning silvery blue once they open up. Today it's still listed as threatened, but there's a captive breeding program to help make sure the beautiful species never goes missing again. Learn more—and see the butterfly up-close—in the video from Great Big Story below.

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