Note: This species is listed with the genus name Chalceria by some authors. Ferris Copper (Lycaena ferrisi), previously included as a subspecies of L. rubidus, is a newly described species nearly identical in appearance and ecology to the Ruddy Copper, and occurs only in the White Mountains of Arizona and New Mexico.
This species ranges from southern British Columbia and Alberta south through the northwestern U.S. to central California, eastern Arizona, and northern New Mexico, and east as far as western North and South Dakota and Nebraska. It occurs through much of Idaho.
It occurs in open areas such as sagebrush steppe, prairies, fields, and along streams.
Caterpillars feed on various species of dock (Rumex spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, most frequently from shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa).
Eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring, and the resulting brood is the only generation of caterpillars each summer. Each caterpillar undergoes four stages of growth, called instars. Adults generally fly from the end of May to the beginning of September. Butterflies are swift fliers, and may pursue each other.
Males perch to wait for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly at or near the bases of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; most populations are widespread, abundant, and secure. Ferris Copper, however, is ranked T1, which means it is critically imperiled because of extreme rarity and is imminently vulnerable to extinction.|
Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. (eds.) 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 442 pp.
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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