Endangered Butterflies

Nabokov's Blues Threatened

Vladimir Nabokov, the famous Russian-American author of Lolita, was also a lepidopterist. He studied and named butterflies known as Blues. In his novel Pnin Nabokov wrote:

"A score of small butterflies, all of one kind, were settled on a damp patch of sand, their wings erect and closed, showing their pale undersides with dark dots and tiny orange-rimmed peacock spots along the hindwing margins; one of Pnin's shed rubbers disturbed some of them and revealing the celestial hue of their upper surface, they fluttered around like blue snowflakes before settling again."

This butterfly, Karner's Blue, named by Nabokov, is among several threatened with extinction. More here.

Livestock grazing its food plant, Adesmia
Blues At Risk
Picture Name Scientific Name Home Threat
Karner Blue Lycaeides melissa samuelis USA Fire suppression in pine barrens limiting food plant, Lupine
Andean Blue Pseudolucia andina Chile Rabbits eating its food plant, Astragalus
Southern Blue Pseudolucia sibylla Argentina-Chile border