Note: Some authors refer to this species with the newer genus name Gaeides. Others consider it a subspecies of Lycaena xanthoides, the Gray Copper.
This species ranges from southern Alberta south through parts of the Pacific Northwest into California, and through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the northern portions of Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
It can be found at middle and high elevations in meadows, forest openings, and along streams.
Records are sparse, but caterpillars are reported to feed on the leaves
of dock (Rumex spp.), and possibly on horkelia (Horkelia spp.)
and cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from dogbane (Apocynum spp.) and yarrow (Achillea spp.).
There is one generation of caterpillars each summer. Each caterpillar undergoes four stages of growth, called instars. Little else about its life cycle is known. Adults fly from June through August and can often be observed in large numbers.
Males most likely perch to wait for receptive females.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.|
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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.
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