Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan

Box outline
Box outline


Connect With Us

Facebook icon

Flickr icon


Twitter icon

YouTube icon


Buy Duck Stamps icon Endangered Species Day icon

Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo

Karner Blue Butterfly

Propagation Handbook for the Karner Blue Butterfly, Lycaeides melissa samuelis

First edition, November 2010


By Lindsay Webb, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
With assistance from:


The Nature Conservancy
Southern Lake Michigan Rim Project
5690 Chase Street
Merrillville, IN 46410
Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
195 New Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205
The Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
The Toledo Zoo
Department of Conservation and Research
P.O. Box 140130
Toledo, OH 43614-0801
New Hampshire Fish and Game
Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Green Bay Field Office
2661 Scott Tower Drive
New Franken, WI 54229


Karner blue butterfly

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

Below is the Background and Summary, click here to download the entire Propagation Handbook for the Karner Blue Butterfly (40 pages, 946KB PDF).

Background and Summary

On November 7, 2007, the Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Team, recognizing the importance of drawing upon lessons learned from successful ongoing captive rearing programs, established the Karner Blue Butterfly Captive Rearing Subteam to produce a comprehensive manual on captive rearing techniques for the butterfly. The Subteam was lead by Lindsay Webb of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department who coordinated development of the manual and drafted the majority of the text.


This resultant manual provides a comprehensive guide on the various techniques that are being successfully used in captive rearing programs for the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) (KBB) by various organizations in Indiana, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, and Ohio (refer to Table 1 for contact information). The manual includes information on, among other topics, egg, larvae, pupae, and adult care, release methods, vendors for captive rearing supplies, and suggestions on how to prevent disease. In addition, those starting new captive rearing programs with KBBs or other butterflies, will find this manual useful in determining which techniques will work best for them based on the location and size of the captive rearing facility, funds, and staff time. For more information pertaining to KBB translocations including reintroductions and population augmentations refer to the KBB Recovery Plan, especially Appendix I (USFWS, 2003).


Each captive rearing organization works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on their KBB reintroduction or population augmentation programs. An Endangered Species Act Section 10 (a) recovery permit is needed from the USFWS prior to engaging in a captive rearing program to authorize any take of the KBB that may result from the activity. In addition, a permit from the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is required if KBBs will be translocated across state lines. Check with the state’s wildlife agency to determine if a state permit is required. This manual will be available to others interested in captive rearing of KBBs and serve to help streamline the permit process associated with captive rearing programs.


- - - - - - - - - - - -


Above is the Background and Summary, click here to download the entire Propagation Handbook for the Karner Blue Butterfly (40 pages, 946KB PDF).



Return to Karner Blue Butterfly page

Midwest Endangered Species Home



Last updated: July 19, 2016