North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Edith's Copper (Lycaena editha)
JPG -- species photo

Edith's Copper (Lycaena editha [Mead])

Wing span: 7/8 to 1 1/4 inches (2.2 - 3.0 cm).

Identification: Upperside dark gray sometimes with minute tails on hindwing. Underside pale gray with complex pattern of black dots and swirls.

Life history: Males perch and patrol openings.

Flight: One flight from late June to August.

Caterpillar hosts: Various docks (Rumex) and knotweeds (Polygonum).

Adult food: Flower nectar including goldenrods, sulphur-flower, and white yarrow.

Habitat: Openings in lodgepole pine and other forests, sagebrush flats, and meadows.

Range: Idaho and western Montana south to California's Sierra Nevada, northern Utah, and northern Colorado.

Conservation: None needed, although habitats are being invade by weedy alien plants such as smooth brome. Extent of invasion is unknown. Subspecies

The Nature Conservancy Global 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.


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

Edith's Copper (Lycaena editha)
distribution map
map legend

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