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Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides


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Purplish Copper, Male
credit: Tom Peterson, Fermilab

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

Description The Purplish Copper (Lycaena helloides) is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family. It is found from Great Lakes area to British Columbia, south to Baja California.

The wingspan is 30-38 mm. The upper surface of the males is brown with a purple iridescence, while females are more orange. The hindwings of both males and females have a broad orange band at the margin. Adults are generally on wing from May to July and again from August to October in two generations per year, although up to four generations per year may occur at some locations. In the northern part of the range, there is one generation with adults on wing from July to August. Adults feed on flower nectar.

The larvae feed on the leaves of Polygonum, Rumex and sometimes Potentilla species. The species overwinters as an egg.

Dimensions The wingspan is 30-38 mm.

Habitat Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves, Cities, suburbs & towns, Freshwater swamps, marshes & bogs, Meadows & fields, Shorelines & salt marshes.

Range California, Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, Southwest, Great Lakes, Plains, Eastern Canada, Northwest.