Alternate Common Name: Cinquefoil Copper.
Note: Some authors refer to this species with the genus name Epidemia. The distinction between this species and the Purplish Copper, Lycaena helloides, is not clear in some locations, such as in the Rocky Mountains, where the two have been known to hybridize.
This species ranges from Alaska east across Canada, south to Washington and through the Rocky Mountains to northern New Mexico; in the Great Lakes states south to Ohio; and in Maine. It occurs in patches throughout Idaho.
It occurs in meadows, bogs, marshes, and forest openings.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves of cinquefoils (Potentilla spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from plants belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
There is one generation of caterpillars each summer. Eggs overwinter in leaf litter, and the young caterpillars emerging in the spring must locate the host plant to begin feeding. Adults generally fly from mid-June through September.
Males perch to wait for receptive females or may actively patrol for them. Females lay white eggs singly on the undersides of leaves of host plants. As the leaves of the host plant are shed in autumn, so, too, do the eggs fall to the ground; the eggs overwinter in the leaf litter.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; population levels are secure, but may be of concern in the future.|
Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm (Version 05Nov98).
Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies. Second Edition. Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.
Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.
Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.