North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe)
JPG -- species photo

Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe [Boisduval & LeConte])

Wing span: 7/8 - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.5 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male brownish with purple iridescence; female dull gray-brown. Underside of both sexes white or pale tan; hindwing with very small black spots and red zigzag border on outer margin.

Life history: Males perch on low plants to watch for females. Eggs are laid singly at base of host plant; caterpillars feed on shoots and leaves. First-stage caterpillars overwinter in their eggs, often underwater.

Flight: One flight from June-September.

Caterpillar hosts: Shrubby cranberries in the heath family (Ericaceae).

Adult food: Water from raindrops and nectar from cranberry flowers.

Habitat: Acid bogs with cranberries and other Ericaceae.

Range: Maine south to New Jersey and West Virginia; west through northern Great Lake states and Ontario.

Conservation: Habitat is sensitive and subject to draining or conversion to commercial use.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: Conserve habitats of known populations.


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.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe)
distribution map
map legend

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