the Field Guide
Guide to the Rare Animals of Florida is designed to be used in the field
and can be customized by each user. The three-ring binder and unnumbered
pages allow users to arrange the species accounts in any way that is convenient
- e.g., by common or scientific name or by county, water management district,
or any other regional unit. This format will also facilitate future updates
and additions. The Guide features more than 150 rare animals, including
47 federally listed taxa, 102 state-listed taxa, and more than 40 additional
rare species, subspecies, or populations.
of Species Accounts
and scientific names are provided at the top of each page. They are
derived from various sources but generally represent the current consensus
of the scientific community. Alternative scientific names are given for
animals for which a different name is used by state or federal agencies,
or where pertinent literature uses a different name.
and family represent two commonly used higher categories of classification
for grouping similar species.
distribution map accompanying each account allows the user to determine
whether a species potentially occurs in a particular area. The habitat
description, coupled with further information in the selected references,
should help the reader to decide whether a specific site might support
a given species. We have not attempted to depict known localities or exact
ranges for species, but instead opted to use counties as the basic unit
of occurrence. To clarify the distribution of species inhabiting the Florida
Keys, Monroe County was subdivided into mainland, Upper/Middle Keys, Lower
Keys, islands west of Key West including the Marquesas Keys, and Dry Tortugas.
Most counties indicated on maps are supported by confirmed specimens and
observations. Some, however, are included based on probability of occurrence
given the known range and habitat preferences of the animal. For sea turtles
and birds, maps also highlight those counties where nesting may occur.
indicate the global (G) and state (S) rarity of a species:
imperiled, or less than six occurrences
2: imperiled, or six to 20 occurrences
3: rare, restricted, or otherwise vulnerable to extinction
4: apparently secure
5: demonstrably secure
a species with a rank of G5/S1 is globally secure but critically imperiled
within Florida. A global rank with a "T" followed by a number
indicates a subspecies or special population. Ranks are periodically updated
as new information becomes available. For more information about the ranking
system, contact the Florida Natural Areas Inventory at (850) 224-8207
or visit our website (www.fnai.org/ranks.htm).
(U.S.) and state (FL) statuses indicate a species' formal legal listing
as Endangered, Threatened, or Species of Special Concern. Any given status
is subject to change. For definitions of the categories and their regulatory
implications, contact the following agencies:
and Wildlife Service, 6620 Southpoint Drive South, Suite
310, Jacksonville, FL 32216; (904) 232-2580
Marine Fisheries Service, 3500 Delwood Beach Road,
Panama City, FL 32408; (850) 234?5061
and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South
Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600; (850) 488-6661
photographs (or drawings) are provided for each rare animal. In most
cases, the photographs are of Florida specimens. Drawings were used to
augment the photographs for some of the accounts and were used as a substitute
when no photographs were available.
are written with a minimum of technical language to make them easy to
use by people from a wide range of backgrounds. A series of diagnostic
characteristics is listed in order of their importance. Measurements are
provided in English and metric units. A glossary of technical terms
is provided at the end of the Guide.
species are listed along with characteristics that distinguish each
from the featured rare species. In most cases, these are limited to species
that inhabit the same geographic area.
describes the vegetative or natural community types in which a species
is likely to be observed. Simplified community names are used for ease
of understanding by a wide audience. Scientific names are given for those
plants that are key elements of the rare animal's habitat. Readers interested
in technical names and detailed community descriptions are referred to
the Guide to the Natural Communities of Florida (FNAI 1990) and Ecosystems
of Florida (Myers and Ewel [eds.] 1990).
occurrence describes periods of presence or activity as well as life-cycle
distribution describes the species' general range in Florida, not
just documented localities (see also Florida distribution map above).
distribution summarizes the species' geographic occurrence throughout
its entire range.
status offers information about the relative degree of protection
the species has on current conservation lands, as well as threats to or
status of the Florida population.
and management recommendations summarize the actions needed to protect
the species in Florida.
references are the sources used in preparing the species account or that
provide the reader with more extensive information. Complete citations
are provided in the references section.
versions of this Guide and the Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Florida
are available at our website (www.fnai.org), which will allow queries
by county, FNAI rank, or listing status.
animals included in this guide comprise only a small percentage of Florida's
diverse fauna. Many other resources are available to assist the reader
in identifying most of Florida's remaining, and generally more abundant,
animals. We especially recommend the following, complete citations for
which are provided in the reference section.
Dunkle (1989, 2000)
Butterflies and Moths: Glassberg et al. (2000), Minno and Pierce
Fishes: Gilbert (ed.) (1992), Mettee et al. (1996), Page and Burr
(1998), Walls (1976)
Amphibians and Reptiles: Ashton and Ashton (1988a, 1988b, 1991),
Bartlett and Bartlett (1999), Conant and Collins (1991), Ernst et al.
(1994), Moler (ed.) (1992), Petranka (1998), and Tenant (1997)
Birds: Dunn (1999), Peterson (1998), Pranty (1996), Robbins et
al. (2001), Sibley (2000)
Mammals: Brown (1997), Humphrey (ed.) (1992), Whitaker (1996)