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Dorcas Copper Lycaena dorcas


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Family: Lycaenidae, Gossamer-wing Butterflies view all from this family

Description The Dorcas Coppper or Cinquefoil Copper (Lycaena dorcas) is a species of Lycaeninae that occurs in North America. The species L. dospassosi was once considered the same as L. dorcas.

The top side is brown, males have a blueish-purple iridescence while females tend to just have a few lighter areas. Because of the males coloration they can often be mistaken for L. helloides. Their hindwings have red-orange spots on the border. The underside is brown with a slight orange tint. The wingspan for this particular species is 2.5–3.2 cm (0.98–1.3 in).

L. dorcas is seen as far north as boreal Alaska and south to Washington in the west and the Great Lakes region in the east, there is an isolated population in Maine. Within this range they are found within bogs and old overgrown fields.

Dimensions 2.5–3.2 cm (0.98–1.3 in).

Life Cycle AdultBetween June and September there is one flight, during that flight males stay near the host plants scouting out females. The females will then lay eggs singly on the underside of the plant. The eggs will drop with the autumn leaflets and then overwinter. During the spring the caterpillars hatch and must refind their ways back to the host plant to feed.

ImmatureThe caterpillar tends to be pale green with a single dark green drosal line in addition to faint white oblique bands, while the egg itself is white.

Habitat Freshwater swamps, marshes & bogs, Shorelines & salt marshes, Meadows & fields, Scrub, shrub & brushlands.

Range New England, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Plains, Great Lakes, Alaska.