Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Catherine Papps Herms; Deborah G. McCullough; Leah S. BauerRobert A. Haack
    Date: 1996
    Source: The Great Lakes Entomologist 29(2):63-75
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (952.29 KB)


    The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is listed as a federally endangered species in the United States. It occurs in oak savanna and pine barren habitats from eastern Minnesota to New Hampshire. In 1994, we successfully reared Karner blue larvae under controlled laboratory conditions for experimental purposes, and report on those rearing methods here. We collected 20 female Karner blue adults of the spring generation from two areas in Michigan, and housed them in cages in an environmental chamber at 24?-26?C for 5 days. The female butterflies produced 154 eggs, of which 72 hatched in an average of 4.5 days, and 68 first instars survived. Eggs, larvae and pupae were kept in a growth chamber at 24?C. Developmental time from egg to adult averaged 26 days; the average duration of each instar ranged from 3 to 4 days, and the average pupal duration was 8 days. Thirty three laboratory-reared Karner blue larvae successfully completed the 4 instars, and were released as adults into maternal collection sites. Laboratory rearing may be a viable means of providing Karner blue individuals for reintroduction into areas where the species is extirpated, for supplementation of small populations, or for research. Ultimately, such methods may become an integral part in the recovery of this and other rare invertebrate species.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Herms, Catherine Papps; McCullough, Deborah G.; Miller, Deborah L.; Bauer, Leah S.; Haack, Robert A. 1996. Laboratory rearing of Lycaeides melissa samuelis (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), an endangered butterfly in Michigan. The Great Lakes Entomologist 29(2):63-75

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page