Karner Blue Butterfly

Karner Blue Butterfly

  • Scientific Name: Lycaeides melissa samuelis
  • Appearance: Their wingspan is about 1 square inch for males and females. However, their coloration changes between male and female.  Male butterflies are deep blue with a thin black border. Female butterflies are blue with orange spots on a grey-brown border.
  • Range: They are found in the northern lupine range, due to their dependence on the flower. They are now found mostly in Wisconsin; however, they were once found in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, and Ohio.
  • Why they are disappearing: Habitat loss due to land development is causing the Karner Blue Butterflies to become endangered. They are completely dependent on the growth of lupine and flowering plant growth; without large fields of these flowers, the butterflies are left without a habitat.

Karner Blue Butterflies hanging from the ceiling

standing underneath the butterflies


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