New York Natural Heritage Program
Karner Blue
Plebejus melissa samuelis (Nabokov, 1944)
Karner Blue butterfly Carly Voight
Family: Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Elfins (Lycaenidae)

State Protection: Endangered
A native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York (includes any species listed as federally Endangered by the United States). It is illegal to take, import, transport, possess, or sell an animal listed as Endangered, or its parts, without a permit from NYSDEC. 1) Any native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York. 2) Any species listed as endangered by the United States Department of the Interior.

Federal Protection: Endangered
Listed as Endangered in the United States by the US Department of Interior.

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, very few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or some factor of its biology makes it especially vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G5T2
A Global Rarity Rank of G5T2 means: Imperiled globally - The subspecies/variety is at high risk of extinction due to rarity or other factors; typically 20 or fewer populations or locations in the world, very few individuals, very restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or steep declines. (The species as a whole is common globally.)

Did you know?
This species would not persist without active management in New York. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve manages for this butterfly through prescribed fire and by planting and encouraging growth of wild blue lupine.

State Ranking Justification [-]
Even though there are about 50 subpopulations occupied each year, these cluster into about four metapopulations, or recovery units. Of the 50 subpopulations, the vast majority have fewer than 100 butterflies present. This species does not persist well if the total July brood for the metapopulation is fewer than 1,000 adults. This Federally and State-listed species is completely management dependent in New York, and is the case in most or all of the remaining portion of the range.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]