Mariposa Copper (Lycaena mariposa [Reakirt])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male iridescent purple with black borders and pale markings; female yellow-orange with more distinctive markings. Underside hindwing of both sexes is mottled gray.
Life history: Males perch in low spots to watch for females.
Flight: One flight from July-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Vaccinium arbuscula in California, and other plants of the heath family (Ericaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Forest openings and bogs where host plants grow.
Range: Southern Alaska south along the Rocky Mountains to Wyoming; Washington, central Oregon, northeastern California.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp.