Alternate Common Names:Flame Copper, Small Copper.
Primarily an introduced eastern species, it ranges from Nova Scotia south to Georgia, and east to Minnesota and the Dakotas south to Arkansas. It also occurs as a native in patches of arctic Canada, in northern Alaska south and west to British Columbia and Alberta, and in patches of the Rockies. It has been documented in Idaho in Lemhi County.
In the east it can be found in open or disturbed areas, including pastures, fields, and landfills; in the west it occurs in rocky alpine places or arctic tundra.
In the east, caterpillars feed on the leaves of sheep sorrel (Rumex
acetosella) and curly dock (R. crispus); in the west, caterpillars
feed primarily on mountain sorrel (Oxyria digyna).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.
The number of generations of caterpillars each summer depends on the location, with three or four in the south, two in the north, and one in alpine and arctic areas. Each caterpillar undergoes four to five stages of growth, called instars. Either caterpillars or pupae overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Adults generally fly from May through September in most of its range, and from July through August in the western and arctic parts of its range. These butterflies have been known to be aggressive, chasing almost anything passing by.
Males perch to wait for receptive females. Females lay ribbed, pale green eggs singly on the leaves or stems of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.|
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