The Schaus swallowtail butterfly, Heraclides aristodemus ponceanus, is an endangered species of butterfly in Florida with critically low numbers. Habitat loss is a crucial element in its decline, however unique species are having a detrimental impact. .
Clayborn and Koptur* excluded ants from interacting with the caterpillars and located decreased survival when ants are usually not excluded. Probably the most problematic species was Pseudomyrmex gracilis the Elongate twig ant, an unique species from Mexico and never native to Florida. These ant predators had been probably the most aggressive towards Schaus Swallowtail caterpillars of any of the ant species noticed. The menace to endangered butterflies is another reason to protect in opposition to transport of unique species.
*Jaeson Clayborn & Suzanne Koptur. 2017. Mortal fight between ants and caterpillars: an ominous menace to the endangered Schaus swallowtail butterfly within the Florida Keys, USA. Journal of Insect Conservation. pp 1–14. First On-line: 14 July 2017