Monday, 13 April 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'K'

K - Karner Blue

The Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is an endangered species of small blue butterfly.

Karner Blue
It's most widespread in Wisconsin, and can be found in portions of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio.

The male is silvery or dark blue with narrow black margins on the topside of its wings. The outer portions of the female are grayish brown, with bands or orange crescents inside the black border.

Karner Blue underside
The underside of both the male and female is grey with a continuous band of those orange crescents on the edges of their wings, The scattered black spots are circled with white.

The caterpillars feed only on the leaves of the wild lupine plant, the adults on the nectar of the flowers. This effectively determines their occurrence to the northern part of the wild lupine's range.

Wild blue lupines
The butterfly's habitat of pine and oak savanna/barrens which support which support wild lupine are being managed and protected where possible as part of a recovery plan.

It is prohibited to collect specimens of the Karner Blue.

I wonder whether I shall ever see one when I visit my daughter at her Michigan home. 

In researching this butterfly I was surprised that the author of 'Lolita,' Vladimir Nabokov also a lepidopterist had described the Karner Blue.

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender

Photo Attributions:
  • Karner Blue: By John and Karen Hollingsworth, US Fish & Wildlife Service - Public Domain
  • Karner Blue - Underside: 12 April 2012, upload by Dolvis; author US Fish & Wildlife Service HQ by Joe Trick - CC BY 2.0
  • Wild Blue Lupine: US Fish & Wildlife Service by Joel Trick


Maria said...

Hi Bob, I had to research the word "lepidopterist". It's new for me :D

Bill Nicholls said...

No chance of seeing on in the UK then, pity nice butterfly

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures - lovely theme for the A-Z Challenge.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Never knew that Nabokov had that interest, what is it about Russian authors that produces such great literature, perhaps I've now gained one small insight.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - it's a stunning butterfly and I'm so glad they're protecting its breeding grounds etc .. no wonder it's that colour living amongst the lupines.

And fascinating to read that Nabokov was also a lepidopterist ... it amazes me how some people can learn loads of things ... I've gone off the word 'polymath' - but it's still what I think that describes men of many letters (subjects) ...

Love the blue .. cheers Hilary

John Holton said...

Very beautiful pictures.

Just stopping in from the challenge...

John Holton
Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
The Sound of One Hand Typing

Su-sieee! Mac said...

There's a butterfly in our area of California that looks similar to the underside of this one. We have wild lupine, so I wonder if it feeds on that.

Take 25 to Hollister
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Kern Windwraith said...

I'm so pleased to have found your blog. Butterflies! What a delightful theme. The Karner Blue is so beautiful--both over and undersides. I hope you do manage to see one when you visit your daughter.

Interesting tidbit about Nabakov--I had no idea that he was a lepidopterist.

Looking forward to learning great whacks of stuff about butterflies from you!

Jo said...

What a pretty butterfly. Pity they are on the endangered list.