Species Profile

Mormon Metalmark Southern Mountain population

Scientific Name: Apodemia mormo
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2014
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: C2a(i)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This butterfly is found in very small numbers within small habitat patches in the narrow valley bottoms of the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys of southern British Columbia. The valley bottoms are also an important transportation and utility corridor, and the butterfly is threatened by road maintenance and other land development activities, as well as the growth of invasive plants that shade out their host plants.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in May 2003. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2014.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-01-12

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Mormon Metalmark

Mormon Metalmark Photo 1

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Description

Mormon Metalmark, Apodemia mormo (Family Riodinidae) is a small butterfly (wingspan 25 to 32 mm) that is dorsally dark brown and ventrally grey, with white spots and black marks on the wings. The central forewings are orange on both dorsal and ventral surfaces. The larvae are up to 25 mm long, dark purple with yellow spots, and clumps of black bristles. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Distribution and Population

The Canadian range is represented by two disjunct populations. The Southern Mountain Population is restricted to south-central British Columbia (BC) and the Prairie Population restricted to southwestern Saskatchewan (SK) (Prairie Population). In BC, the butterfly occurs in the Similkameen Valley from the international border to Olalla and west to Keremeos. It is also known from one extant site in the south Okanagan Valley near Osoyoos and historically as far north as Okanagan Falls. Within this range it occupies an area of less than 50 ha in small, scattered sites at low elevation (450-680 m above sea level). In SK, Mormon Metalmark is found in the East and West Blocks of Grasslands National Park, and a few adjacent private properties and community pastures. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Habitat

Mormon Metalmarks are associated with open, arid habitats that support the larval host plants, buckwheats. The Southern Mountain Population is primarily found on eroding sandy-gravelly and rocky slopes with Snow Buckwheat. These include natural hillsides and human-modified habitats such as roads and transmission rights-of-way, railway embankments, and gravel pits. The Prairie Population is typically associated with Few-flowered Buckwheat and Rubber Rabbitbrush, the larval host plant and main adult nectaring source respectively. They can be found on eroding, clay slopes in the prairie badlands, as well as more level terrain. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Biology

In Canada, Mormon Metalmarks have one generation per year. Eggs or early instar larvae overwinter in the soil or at the base of their larval host plants. The species has five larval instars and pupates for several weeks in July, within debris near the base of host plants. The adult flight period is from late July until late September with a peak in mid- to late August. Individual adults live about 10 days and primarily nectar on Stinking Rabbitbrush and the larval host plant. The maximum dispersal in the Southern Mountain Population is estimated as 4 km but for most individuals is probably less (

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Threats

The primary threat to the Southern Mountain Population is habitat degradation and loss, which has resulted in the loss of at least one site within the past decade. Right-of-way maintenance disrupts roadside sites in the Similkameen Valley, and gravel extraction could affect the largest known site in Keremeos. Conversely, minor disturbance may benefit host plants by maintaining the early successional habitat required for these plants. Most Prairie Population sites are protected within Grasslands National Park and have no primary threats. However, the divestment of federal community pastures to the province of SK may result in the sale of these lands to private individuals or private business consortiums. Non-native weeds can be significant competitors of host plants at some sites, potentially reducing larval food supply. The distribution of the larval host plants limits the areas of potential habitat for Mormon Metalmark in both the Southern Mountain and Prairie DUs, but both buckwheat species occur in many areas where the butterfly is currently absent. Both Canadian populations are at the northern limits of the species’ range so microclimate and related site variables (e.g., slope, aspect) may be limiting factors. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Mormon Metalmark, Southern Mountain population, is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo), Southern Mountain Population, in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

South Okanagan Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Team

  • Orville Dyer - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 250-490-8244  Send Email
  • Jennifer Heron - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 604-222-6759  Fax: 604-660-1849  Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date A recovery strategy has been developed for both the British Columbia Southern Mountain and Saskatchewan Prairie Mormon Metalmark populations. Most of the recovery activities pertain to the Southern Mountain population since less is known about the prairie population. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities Existing populations are routinely monitored to determine population trends and influences on these trends. Inventories to identify any additional colonies also are being conducted. Surveys and inventories of extant sites in the Similkameen Valley, BC took place in 2003. Research is taking place to identify Mormon Metalmark dispersal abilities. Their reproductive success and the impact of predation on survival rate also are being investigated. Potential habitat is being mapped. Any fluvial banks, natural or artificial, are being identified and searched for undetected populations, and the distribution of larval and nectar food sources are being mapped. Summary of Recovery Activities Public outreach and stewardship programs are underway to raise awareness of these butterflies and their habitat. A “Butterflies of the Okanagan” pamphlet has been produced describing the Southern Mountain population and its habitat. URLs Butterflies of North America:http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/usa/384.htm Environment Canada: Mormon Metalmark (Prairie Population):http://www.pnr-rpn.ec.gc.ca/nature/endspecies/sar/db08s35.en.html Government of Canada: Mormon Metalmark:http://www.cbif.gc.ca/spp_pages/butterflies/species/MormonMetalmark_e.php

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

11 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Mormon Metalmark Apodemia mormo in Canada (2015-01-06)

    Mormon Metalmark, Apodemia mormo (Family Riodinidae) is a small butterfly (wingspan 25 to 32 mm) that is dorsally dark brown and ventrally grey, with white spots and black marks on the wings. The central forewings are orange on both dorsal and ventral surfaces. The larvae are up to 25 mm long, dark purple with yellow spots, and clumps of black bristles.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Mormon Metalmark, Southern Mountain population (2015-01-13)

    This butterfly is found in very small numbers within small habitat patches in the narrow valley bottoms of the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys of southern British Columbia. The valley bottoms are also an important transportation and utility corridor, and the butterfly is threatened by road maintenance and other land development activities, as well as the growth of invasive plants that shade out their host plants.
  • Response Statements - Mormon Metalmark (2004-04-21)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo), Southern Mountain Population, in Canada (2017-12-20)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Mormon Metalmark Southern Mountain population and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia, as per section 39(1) of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Province of British Columbia provided the attached recovery strategy for the Mormon Metalmark Southern Mountain population (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (2004-04-21)

    This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 139, number 2, 2005) (2005-01-12)

    Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), is amended by Order of the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, by the addition of 73 species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and follows consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the public, and analysis of costs and benefits to Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2013-2014 (2014-10-15)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to "assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species". COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2013 to September, 2014) from November 24 to November 29, 2013 and from April 27 to May 2, 2014. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 0 Endangered: 23 Threatened: 12 Special Concern: 20 Data Deficient: 0 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 56 Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 25 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PNR-2010-0138), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-07-21)

    Foot surveys for Mormon Metalmark butterflies will be conducted in Val Marie and Beaver Valley Agriculture and Agrifood Canada pastures. An estimated total maximum of 20 individuals (up to 4 per site) of Mormon Metalmarks will be collected from as many different colonies as practicable (3-5 expected) within the pastures and time frame mentioned above. Each pasture will be visited as necessary to find colonies between July and September. At each site where the presence of Mormon Metalmark is confirmed, an estimation of population size will be determined by a "checklist survey" in which the observer is free to roam throughout the site and is better suited for preliminary assessment of species richness and abundance. Once the number of individuals of Mormon Metalmark present is estimated, up to 5% of that number (or 4 specimens, whichever is the smaller number) will be collected with a butterfly net and placed into individual glassine envelopes. Meteorological, vegetation, and geographic data will also be recorded. All specimens will be later placed into ethanol storage for future DNA preservation. Genetic analysis will be performed on all specimens at the University of Alberta. This genetic information will enable us to determine the population structure of Mormon Metalmarks in the populations in Southern Saskatchewan and the degree of connectedness with other populations in Saskatchewan. Additionally, caught butterflies will be marked with a dot with a felt pen for a mark and recapture population survey. Up to 20 small host plant clippings per occupied and unoccupied habitat will be taken to try and determine why some apparently suitable sites are unoccupied.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act : Terrestrial Species - January 2015 (2015-01-13)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments byApril 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website
  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species Under the Species At Risk Act: March 2004 (2004-03-03)

    The Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003 as part of its strategy for the protection of wildlife species at risk. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, hereinafter referred to as the 'SARA list'. Canadians are invited to comment on whether all or some of the species included in this document should be added to the SARA list.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update December 2, 2021
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