Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus [Cramer])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 7/8 inches (3.2 - 4.8 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male iridescent copper-brown; female forewing yellow-orange with black spots. Underside forewing of both sexes orange with black spots; underside hindwing is gray-white with black spots and a broad orange outer margin.
Life history: Males perch on low growth near host plants to watch for females. Eggs are laid singly on plants. Eggs hibernate until spring; caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: Two in the north and west, from June-September; three in southern part of range, from May-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Herbs of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae) including curly dock (Rumex crispus).
Adult food: Adults visit flowers only occasionally, but have been seen taking nectar at blackberry and red clover.
Habitat: Low, wet areas such as bogs, marshes, wet meadows, ponds.
Range: Maine west across southern Canada and the Great Lake states to eastern Montana and central Colorado; south to Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Maryland.
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.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. 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:
Nekola, Jeffrey C. 1995. County Distribution Maps of Iowa Butterflies and Skippers. Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay, WI. 30 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.