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