Karner Blue Butterfly


I remember when I was in 3rd grade we had a guy who talked to us about Butterflies…he brought his collection…they were pinned to a board. I remember thinking way back then…something doesn't seem right about this. I guess I was naive at the time and thought they died of "natural causes" but no, they were caught, and killed, for this person's collection. I still think about that day. I still squirm.

This is an endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. Yes, it's endangered…officially on the list.

It can be found in New Jersey, the Great Lakes Region, and Southern New Hampshire, as well as the Capitol District of New York.

The butterfly, whose lifecycle depends on the wild blue lupine flower (Lupinus perennis), is classified as an endangered species.

The efforts, the name, and why they are endangered:

Local conservation efforts, concentrating on replanting large areas of blue lupine which have been lost to development (and to fire suppression, which destroys the open, sandy habitat required by blue lupine), are having modest success at encouraging the butterfly's repopulation. The Karner Blue, ( Lycaeides melissa samuelis), is the official state butterfly of New Hampshire. The Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin is home to the world's largest population of Karner Blues, who benefit from its vast area of savannah and extensive lupine.


The Karner Blue was first identified and named by novelist and lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov. The name originates from Karner, the former name of Guilderland, New York, where it was first discovered. Lupine blooms in late May. There are two generations of Karner Blues per year. The first in late May to mid June. The second from mid-July to mid-August.

There are two interesting articles I found. One regarding them making a comeback and the other them returning to Ohio .



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