Karner Blue Butterfly
Lycaeides melissa samuelis


Range and habitat:
The Karner blue butterfly is native to the oak savannas and pine barrens of the Great Lakes Region, including parts of New England.

Natural diet:
The larvae eat leaves of the wild lupine (Lupinus perennis); the adult butterflies eat nectar from various prairie flowers.

Size / weight range:
Adult Karner blues are approximately the size of a quarter.

Interesting Facts:
The Karner Blue butterfly is an endangered species.
Over-wintered eggs hatch in April and caterpillars develop into adults in approximatelyt three weeks.
Adult butterflies mate in May or June and lay eggs which hatch in 3-5 days, then develop into adults in July. These late summer adults mate in July-August and lay eggs, which over winter and hatch the following spring.

Learn more about the Toledo Zoo's Butterfly Conservation Project:

Learn how the Toledo Zoo is working to help restore the Karner Blue population in northwest Ohio

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