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
State and Regional References:
Glassberg, J. 1993. Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, N.Y. 160 pp. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Shapiro, A.M. 1966. Butterflies of the Delaware Valley. American Entomological Society Special Publication. Philadelphia, PA. 79 pp. Tietz, H.M. 1952. The Lepidoptera of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania State College School of Agriculture Agricultural Experiment Station. State College, PA. 194 pp. Wright, D.M. 1995, Atlas of Pennsylvania Butterflies. Special Private Publication, Lansdale, PA. 22 pp.