Description Karner Blue Butterfly inhabits grassy sandplains, pine barrens and oak savannas, with populations ranging from the upper Midwest to the East Coast and Canada. It was listed as endangered in 1992 and is believed to be extinct in several states, including Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Populations are dwindling and becoming isolated due to habitat loss from urban and agricultural development, deforestation and fire suppression. Many of the plants which this species feeds upon exist primarily in areas that experience a regular fire regime, such as the scrubby oak-pine forest. In addition, it is directly dependent upon the Blue Lupine plant, which is the sole food source for the Karner Blue caterpillar. The Lupine is rapidly being replaced by agricultural land. The Karner Bue is about an inch wide with beautiful blue and silver colorings. The female is slightly darker than the male, with orange dots on the hind wings. They are great pollinators of the local wildflowers, and seem to have a close association with ant colonies which feed on larval secretions while protecting them from potential predators as they develop.
Tamara Clark, Hampshire, England Member Since May 2011 Artist Statement Tamara Clark is a natural science illustrator currently living in Hampshire, England, where she recently relocated from Cape Cod, MA. As an illustrator she has worked with a range of groups and institutions, including the Smithsonian, the Encyclopedia of Life, the Marine Biological Laboratory and TEDx, Woods Hole. Tamara has a BS and MS in Biology/Ecology and was trained in traditional science illustration techniques at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and through the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI). She has been an active member of the Guild since 1996 and is a recent President of the New England Chapter of the GNSI.
She also sells her designs at fairs and galleries and enjoys being involved in local creative endeavors. She hopes her illustrations will help to inspire the protection of species and their habitats as much as the creatures she illustrates inspire her.
Tamara lives in a small village near Winchester, UK, with her husband, a scientist at the University of Southampton, and their young daughter. More information and images can be seen on her website www.tamaraclark.com