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Butterflies of Colorado -- Lycaena nivalis

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Colorado

Lilac-bordered Copper (Lycaena nivalis)
JPG -- species photo

Lilac-bordered Copper (Lycaena nivalis [Boisduval])

Wing span: 1 - 1 3/8 inches (2.5 - 3.5 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male coppery brown with red-orange sheen; females brown to orange. Underside yellow or cream with a pink-purple tinge toward the outer edge.

Life history: Males perch in hollows in open areas to watch for females. Eggs are laid singly on or near base of host plant; hibernate until the next spring. Caterpillars feed on leaves.

Flight: One flight from June-August.

Caterpillar hosts: Douglas' knotweed (Polygonum douglasii) in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open forest, sagebrush hillsides near streams, rocky valley floors.

Range: British Columbia south and east to central California, Wyoming, and Colorado.

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.

References:

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:

Brown, F.M., Eff, J.D., and B. Rotger. 1957. Colorado Butterflies. Denver 
     Museum of Natural History, Denver.

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Lilac-bordered Copper (Lycaena nivalis)
distribution map
map legend

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