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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist

Northern Blue (Lycaeides idas)



Northern blue butterfly (Lycaeides idas nabokovi), a butterfly listed as Endangered in Wisconsin. This species is found in pine barrens. The northern blue is found in Wisconsin only in association with the larval host plant, dwarf bilberry (Vaccinium caespitosum), which is also State endangered. Dwarf bilberry occurs in small patches beneath scattered pine on deep, sandy soil in association with bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), sweet fern (Comptonia peregrine), and barren strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) in northeastern Wisconsin. The flight period extends from late June to mid July.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Northern Blue (Lycaeides idas). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Lycaeides idas in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

A guidance document is not available at this time. Use the information from the other tabs and contact local biologists, as needed, to develop management and avoidance strategies.



Northern Blue

Wisconsin Endangered northern blue butterfly inhabits bracken grasslands in northeastern Wisconsin.

Photo © Mike Reese.

Northern Blue

Northern blue butterfly in Marinette County.

Photo © Mike Reese.

Last revised: Thursday, January 10, 2019