Attributes of Plebejus melissa

Melissa Blue (includes Karner Blue)
Plebejus melissa (W.H. Edwards, 1873)

Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Identification: Upperside of male blue with narrow dark border; female brown with blue tinge. Underside with continuous black line along outer margin of both wings. Red-orange submarginal row is continuous in subspecies melissa and divided into separate spots in subspecies samuelis (Karner Blue).
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2 - 3.5 cm).
Life History: Males patrol near host plants for females. Eggs are laid on assorted parts of the host plant or on nearby debris. Caterpillars eat young leaves and are tended by ants who feed on the caterpillars' sugary secretions.
Flight: Two broods from May-August for the Karner Blue (subspecies samuelis) in the East; three broods from April-October for subspecies melissa in the West.
Caterpillar Hosts: Lupine (Lupinus perennis) for the Karner Blue. The western population feeds on various legumes of the pea family including Astragalus, Glycyrrhiza, Lotus, Lupinus, and Medicago species.
Adult Food:
Habitat: Karner Blue (subspecies samuelis) inhabits sandy pine prairies, barrens, and lakeshore dunes in the east. Subspecies melissa is found in the west in open, weedy areas and prairies.
Range: The small, isolated colonies of the Eastern population (subspecies samuelis) occur from southern New Hampshire and central New York west to Wisconsin. The western population (subspecies melissa) is found in the Intermountain West from Canada to Baja California, plains, and prairies east to northwestern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota.
Conservation: The Karner Blue is eradicated or endangered in several states and has The Nature Conservancy rank of T2 - Imperiled because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range).
NCGR:
Management Needs: Proper management is needed for Karner Blue habitats.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Plebejus melissa

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Plebejus melissa - Plebejus-melissa-ventral-2-Queener-crop.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Plebejus-melissa-ventral-2-Queener-crop.jpg
Plebejus melissa - Plebejus-melissa-ventral-Queener-crop.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Plebejus-melissa-ventral-Queener-crop.jpg
Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_melissa_caterpillar2_raisingbutterflies.jpg

Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_melissa_caterpillar2_raisingbutterflies.jpg
Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_melissa_caterpillar3_raisingbutterflies.jpg

Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_melissa_caterpillar3_raisingbutterflies.jpg
Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_kondla2.jpg

Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_kondla2.jpg
Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_kondla1.jpg

Plebejus melissa - plebejus_melissa_kondla1.jpg
Plebejus melissa - Plebejus_ melissaKsGrantSept17-06CarolAdams-cropfs.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Plebejus_ melissaKsGrantSept17-06CarolAdams-cropfs.jpg
Plebejus melissa - Plebejus_ melissaKsGrantSept17-06CarolAdams-cropf.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Plebejus_ melissaKsGrantSept17-06CarolAdams-cropf.jpg
Plebejus melissa - Plebejus_ melissaKsGrantSept17-06CarolAdams-cropm.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Plebejus_ melissaKsGrantSept17-06CarolAdams-cropm.jpg
Plebejus melissa - Lycaeides_melissaSanders.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Lycaeides_melissaSanders.jpg
Plebejus melissa - Lycaeides_melissaSanders2.jpg

Plebejus melissa - Lycaeides_melissaSanders2.jpg

The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
1. All records (yellow dots)   2. Recently verified records (orange dots)*   3. US county records (purple)

There are also three base layers: 1. Satellite    2. Normal   3. Hybrid

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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
July 23, 2014 Nancy Lea Sandy Natrona County, Wyoming, United States November 24, 2014 Details
August 24, 2014 aarongunnar Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, United States September 25, 2014 Details
July 31, 2014 carlysummer Gallatin County, Montana, United States August 04, 2014 Details
September 01, 2006 Gordilly Harrison County, Iowa, United States July 21, 2014 Details
July 10, 2014 chrysmarty Sweet Grass County, Montana, United States July 16, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 diwalks2 San Diego County, California, United States July 16, 2014 Details
June 24, 2014 Samsara Chapman Lewis And Clark County, Montana, United States July 01, 2014 Details
June 07, 2014 randimal Yakima County, Washington, United States June 15, 2014 Details
May 04, 2014 Robert Gorman San Diego County, California, United States May 12, 2014 Details
October 06, 2013 COA1955 Morgan County, Colorado, United States February 12, 2014 Details
August 28, 2011 Robert Gorman San Diego County, California, United States December 05, 2013 Details
September 22, 2013 Robert Gorman San Diego County, California, United States October 25, 2013 Details
August 14, 2013 Helen Blake Park County, Wyoming, United States October 24, 2013 Details
July 06, 2013 richtrebbien Valley County, Idaho, United States July 18, 2013 Details
May 21, 2013 azukoff Finney County, Kansas, United States June 26, 2013 Details
June 16, 2013 aarongunnar Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, United States June 21, 2013 Details
June 05, 2013 HHowell Fremont County, Wyoming, United States June 20, 2013 Details
June 05, 2013 HHowell Fremont County, Wyoming, United States June 20, 2013 Details
May 27, 2013 stormyeyes99 Albany County, New York, United States May 29, 2013 Details
September 23, 2012 Brett Budach Riley County, Kansas, United States April 05, 2013 Details
August 10, 2011 Tommie Rogers Davis County, Utah, United States December 20, 2012 Details
July 09, 1982 legacy.reporter (K Hansen-S. Mattoon) Lander County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
April 20, 1986 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
November 07, 1988 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
June 22, 1996 legacy.reporter (Robert L. Langston) Elko County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
August 30, 1999 legacy.reporter (John B. Vernon) Pershing County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
September 04, 1966 legacy.reporter (Anna Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
September 04, 1966 legacy.reporter (Anna Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 16, 1977 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 23, 1977 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
September 29, 1966 legacy.reporter (Anna Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 10, 1964 legacy.reporter (Peter Herlan) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 26, 2004 legacy.reporter (Alex Grkovich) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
August 05, 2010 Tommie Rogers Nebraska, United States November 23, 2012 Details
July 17, 2012 rjadams Cascade County, Montana, United States October 12, 2012 Details
September 25, 2012 ChaosPoppy San Juan County, New Mexico, United States October 01, 2012 Details
July 14, 2012 swimperi Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States August 18, 2012 Details
August 16, 2011 chuckcmt Valley County, Montana, United States July 25, 2012 Details
June 22, 2012 Glenn Marangelo Granite County, Montana, United States July 25, 2012 Details
July 12, 2008 hjbarkey9 Park County, Colorado, United States July 21, 2012 Details
June 23, 2008 hjbarkey9 Routt County, Colorado, United States May 14, 2012 Details
June 23, 2008 hjbarkey9 Routt County, Colorado, United States May 14, 2012 Details
June 22, 1996 legacy.reporter (Robert L. Langston) Elko County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
July 21, 2011 Nancy Lea Sandy Natrona County, Wyoming, United States December 17, 2011 Details
August 10, 2011 Tommie Rogers Weber County, Utah, United States December 07, 2011 Details
June 22, 2011 J_Martineau Campbell County, Wyoming, United States November 28, 2011 Details
June 24, 2009 RaisingButterflies.org Utah County, Utah, United States November 28, 2011 Details
August 12, 2011 jim8435wisc Jackson County, Wisconsin, United States November 25, 2011 Details
May 30, 2009 Doug Taron Lake County, Indiana, United States November 05, 2011 Details
July 09, 2011 Joe Schelling--entered by M ODonnell Bernalillo County, New Mexico, United States September 26, 2011 Details