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Lane, C.P. 1992. The status of the karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis: Lycaenidae) and its associated plant resources in Minnesota 1991. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 39 pp.


In Minnesota, the state threatened Karner blue butterfly, Lycaeides melissa samuelis, is currently found in only one area in the southeastern portion of the state. A study was initiated to estimated population sizes and the distribution of the butterfly. Populations were found to be very low, with only 75 total individuals sighted. Since food resources are believed to be one of the limiting factors for Karner blue survival, the distribution and abundance of common lupine (Lupinus perennis), the sole larval food source, was also studied. The sites containing the butterfly did not vary significantly in their lupine cover, and the one site where Karner blues were not found had the significantly greatest lupine cover. Butterflies were found to be associated with areas with less than 5% canopy cover. This may be due to increased quantity or quality of the food resource in these areas.

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