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List: Carolina-Leps
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 13:22:08 +0000
From: Derb Carter <derbc...>
Subject: Rare NC butterflies being sold on eBay

There is a collector selling hundreds of specimens of rare butterflies on eBay, some up to $100 each. One of his main collecting sites appears to be North Carolina. "Brand new" specimens for sale from NC include Dusky Azure, Hessel's Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, King's Hairstreak, Helicta Satyr, Georgia Satyr, Little Metalmark, Two-spotted Skipper, Duke's Skipper, and Green Comma. These species are rare and some imperiled and monitored by the state Natural Heritage Program. The site is at the link below.

I strongly suspect that the collector is a lurker on the Carolinaleps listserve. Otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to locate these rare species in NC, and the sighting reports on the listserve provide a collecting roadmap. Also, most of these rare species are very local and the known sites are in protected areas where collecting is prohibited or permits required. The Lepidopterists' Society statement on ethical collection of butterflies states collectors should consult with local experts before collecting rare or local species and obey all laws and restrictions. And collecting for science is one thing, but to sell on eBay is another.

This makes me leery about reporting locations on future sightings of rare or imperiled species. As I strongly suspect the collector is reading this, as a North Carolinian concerned about our natural diversity, I ask you to take your business elsewhere.


Derb Carter