The Karner Blue Butterfly: The Pine Bush’s Most Famous Resident

girl with karner blue may be 1985

So much controversy over such a tiny butterfly-the Karner Blue, Lycaeides melissa samuelis. A beautiful pale blue, this tiny creature only lives in its adult form for one to two weeks. Named by Vladimir Nabokov (probably better known for his writing than his lepidoptery), there were once so many butterflies that all one could see were clouds of blue. Now, only a few hundred survive in the Pine Bush.

There are no laws to protect an ecosystem. But there are laws protecting endangered species. Save the Pine Bush uses the endangered Karner Blue butterfly as the legal basis for its lawsuits to save the Pine Bush.

The butterfly lives in others places besides the Pine Bush. There are spots of butterflies in Clifton Park, New York (about 20 miles north of the Pine Bush), and in New Hampshire and Michigan. Last I knew, the butterfly has become extinct in Ohio.

Here are a sampling of articles on the PB’s most famous resident. Ed.

 Photograph of the under-side of the Karner Blue Butterfly, 1989
Karner Blue Books
 A Field Guide to the Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), Oct/Nov 07
Not Everyone Wants to Save the Karner Blue
 We Got News And It All Fits, Feb/Mar 97
 The Karner Blue and the Wishing Wells, Dec96/Jan97
 Developer Bulldozes Lupine – Bad Behavior in Colonie, June/July 1995
 Slick Book Attacks Karner Blue-Right Wingers Want Pine Bush To Die, April/May, 1995
 The Karner Blue vs Crossgates Mall – Secret Meetings and SEQRA Violations, Dec 96/Jan 97
Karner Blue Biology
 Terrorist Ants Kidnap Butterflies? We’ll Find Out Says Scientist,, June/July 90
 They’re Late, But They’re Back!, June/July 90
 What Does the Karner Blue Eat?
 Butterflies Alive! Ants, Assassin Bugs and Slimebag Developers Can’t Stop Karner Blue, Oct./Nov. 1991
 ON THE TRAIL OF NABOKOV’S ‘BLUES’ , From the National Geographic, 11/9/00
 How fares the Karner Blue?, Feb/Mar 05
 How fares the Karner Blue? Part Two , April/May 05
 Bringing Back Sustainable Karner Blue Populations, October/November, 2009
Karner Blues Elsewhere
 Opinion – Saving Butterflies, from the Concord New Hampshire Monitor, 1992
 From Wings of Change, Nov.-Dec., ’91
 Butterflies – Not Bulldozers, Keeping the Karner Blue in Clifton Park,, Jan./Feb. 92
 Save the Pine Bush Makes it to New Hampshire, Aug/Sept 01
 Our Friends, the Oak Openings Region Preservation Alliance — Protecting the Ohio Oak Openings, May/June 01
 $321,000 Grant to Aid Karner Blue Habitats, Dec 02
Protecting the Karner Blue
 Letter Writing Made a Difference – The Karner Blue Listed as an Endangered Species, Mar./Apr. 92
 Karner Blue Symposium July/Aug. 92
 Books for Butterflies, May/June 02
 Just In Time For Spring! Plant Native Pine Bush Species In Your Back Yard!, May/June 01
 The Federal Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Plan, Jan/Feb 03
 A Comfy White Quilt for Karner Blues, Reprinted from the Times Union, Tuesday, February 18, 2003, Mar/Apr 03
 Final Recovery Plan Issued, Dec 03/Jan 04
 Warning that ‘Extinction is Forever,’
advocates for endangered Karner Blue Butterfly speak out at Clifton Park Town
Board meeting
, Feb/Mar 05
 Blues Connection, Feb/Mar 05
 Karine Franke – Vote for the Karner Blue for New York State Butterfly, Jan/Feb 08
 Looking Forward – Save the Pine Bush 30th Anniversary, February 20, 2008
 Hi again, Karner blue, September/October 2015
Karner Blues Are Endangered in the Pine Bush
 Our Favorite Butterfly – The Karner Blue in 2001, Dec 01/Jan 02
 How Well is the Pine Bush Doing? – July/Aug 99
 Butterfly Populations Decimated in Albany Preserve, August/September, 2009
 Sign Anti-Pesticide Petition!, August/September, 2009
Related Stories
 No Butterfly Releases – Throw Rice, Not Butterflies at Weddings, May/ June 00
 Monarch Butterfly Conservation Crisis, Oct/Nov 00
 In Flurry of Motion, Lessons Take Wing – Guilderland Farnsworth Middle School students raise, track butterflies – Reprinted from the Times Union, 9/14/02 Oct/Nov 02
 Odyssey to a Butterfly Festival, Oct/Nov 02
 Transforming our world, One butterfly at a a time, reprinted from the Altamont Enterprise, Aug/Sept 07
Nabokov and The Karner Blue
 A Journey to Nabokov’s Karner, New York – a Conservation Dilemma, Mar/Apr 00
 Nabokov’s Blues: – The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius, March, April 2001
 Nabokov’s Blues – The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius, Jan 00
Scientists studying the Karner Blue are required by law to get a permit because they might possibly hurt a butterfly. Developers running bulldozers which kill hundreds of butterfly larvae and eggs at a time are often allowed to destroy as they please.