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

Click on an image to view full size and to see additional details.



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

How to use the map:
Click on the map and move your mouse to pan.
Zoom by using the plus [+] and minus [-] on the left side of the map.
To change which map layers are displayed, click on the plus sign [+] on the right side of the map and turn on/off the data layers and base layers.

*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.

See more recently verified sightings of all species.

You don't have Javascript enabled. Hover for more information! But don't worry: you can still use this web site! You have two options:
  • enable Javascript in your browser and then refresh this page, for a much enhanced experience.
  • click the Update button every time you want to update the selection.
Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Sussex County, New Jersey, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Mohave County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Navajo County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Apache County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Apache County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Yavapai County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Maricopa County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Gila County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Graham County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Greenlee County, Arizona, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Siskiyou County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Modoc County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Shasta County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Lassen County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Tehama County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Plumas County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Sierra County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Nevada County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter El Dorado County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Amador County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Alpine County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Mono County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Tuolumne County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Mariposa County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter San Mateo County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Monterey County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Kings County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Tulare County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Inyo County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Kern County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Ventura County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Los Angeles County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Orange County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Riverside County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter San Diego County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Placer County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Trinity County, California, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Moffat County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Rio Blanco County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Garfield County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Mesa County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Montrose County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter San Miguel County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Dolores County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter Montezuma County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details
January 01, 1950 legacy.reporter La Plata County, Colorado, United States December 31, 2004 Details