North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Ruddy Copper (Lycaena rubidus)
JPG -- species photo

Ruddy Copper (Lycaena rubidus [Behr])

Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 5/8 inches (2.9 - 4.1 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male bright red-orange; female duller orange-brown to dark brown. Underside of both sexes gray-white to gray-yellow; hindwing with or without muted black spots.

Life history: Males perch in open areas and along streams or gulches to watch for females. Eggs are laid singly on or near the base of the host plant. Eggs hibernate.

Flight: One flight from June-July at lower elevations; from July-August at higher elevations.

Caterpillar hosts: Dock (Rumex) species in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Dry gravelly or sandy areas such as arid streamsides, sagebrush, scrub, dry fields, alluvial washes.

Range: British Columbia east to North Dakota; south to central California, and northern New Mexico.

Conservation: Not usually required.

Nature Conservancy Rank: G-5, Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.

References:


Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 

     University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 442 pages.



Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986.California Butterflies. University of 

     California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. 246 pp, 24 plates.



Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. Lafontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. 

     University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 282 pages, 32 color plates.



Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co.,  

     Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates.



Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, 

     Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.



Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including 

     adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO.

Author: Paul A. Opler

State and Regional References:


Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja 

     California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif.



Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los 

     Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from 	Entomological Reprint 

     Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.]



Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California.

     Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif.



Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.

     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.



Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. 

     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26.



Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies.  California Natural

     History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los 

     Angeles.

     

Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal

     of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35.     



Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal

     of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296.     



Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 

     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.



Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of 

     Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine.



Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 

     Privately published, Denver, Colo.



Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History 

     of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State 

     University, Masters Thesis.



Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 

     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.



Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California 

     Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and 

     Los Angeles.

Ruddy Copper (Lycaena rubidus)
distribution map
map legend

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