Identified and named by the talented lepidopterist, Vladimir Nabokov
(he was also a novelist by the way) in 1944, after "...a place called Karner [NY], where in some pine barrens, on lupines, a little blue butterfly I have described and named ought to be out."
The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is dependent for part of its life cycle on wild lupine. Although adult Karner blues feed on a variety of plants, wild lupine is the only food plant for their larvae. Without wild lupine the cycle of life for this butterfly would be disrupted. Destruction of Karner Blue habitats has resulted in drastically declining populations.
Conservation plans involve restoring their natural habitat of black oak savannah where wild lupine thrives, as this butterfly is tied to the plant by its biology.
I’ve used several layers of linen and satins, machine and hand embroidered, to create this textile version of the Karner Blue female. A tiny butterfly in reality, this one has been enlarged, with a wingspan of 4.25 inches (11 cm). The backing is cotton with a brooch clasp sewn on. Comes in a handmade drawstring bag for safe keeping.
Perhaps you’ve glimpsed one of these if you’re in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, or Ohio, where there are isolated populations.
And if you’re a New Hampshirite, you’re proud to call it your official state insect!
Made to order. Please allow 4 working days from receipt of payment to shipping.
Join me in donating! 3 euros for each one sold will be donated to The Nature Conservancy, whose work includes protection of habitats in order to “preserve the diversity of life on Earth.”
John Muir, naturalist and conservationist, founder of the Sierra Club said,
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
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