Since I had an extra day of for Memorial Day a couple of weeks ago I decided to take a small road trip to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin. One of the main reasons that I travel to Necedah is to photograph the Karner Melissa blue butterfly. I thought about staying overnight in the near by town of Tomah, however due to the current political situation in Wisconsin I decided to take the three hour drive home that night.
The Karner blue is a subspecies of the Mellisa blue. Karners are found primarily around the Great Lakes region where the Melissa blue's are found mostly in the western half of North America. The biggest difference between the Karner blue and its relations is that the Karner caterpillar only eats one type of host plant, lupine. The amount of wild lupine, pictured with the butterflies above, has been steadily decreasing due to habitat loss and forest fire suppression. This decrease in their larval host plant has affected the Karner blue population to the point that they have been listed on the National Endangered Species List.