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.
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:
Elrod, M.J. 1906. The Butterflies of Montana. Bulletin of the University of Montana 30: 1-174. 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.