bronze copper

(Lycaena hyllus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

bronze copper

 

NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

S4S5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Two broods: late June to late July and mid-August to early September

Photo by Lynn Rubey
Habitat

Open moist areas near water: meadows, marshes, bogs, ditches, edges of ponds

Size

Wingspan: to 1½ (23 to 38 mm)

 
 
Identification

Bronze copper is a medium-sized butterfly but one of the larger coppers (Subfamily Lycaeninae). It occurs in the northern half of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, and in adjacent Canadian provinces. It is common in Minnesota. Adults have a wingspan of to 1½ (23 to 38 mm).

Males and females are similar in appearance except for the upper side of the forewing. On the male the upper side of the forewing is coppery-brown with a purplish iridescent sheen that gradually disappears as the individual ages. There are two dark spots in the forewing cell, a dark cell end bar, a narrow dark band on the outer margin, and a white fringe. Other spots on the forewing are faint, barely visible. On the female the upperside of the forewing is bright yellowish-orange. All of the spots are prominent, black, and bordered with brown. The dark band on the outer margin is much broader. The upper side of the hindwing on both the male and female is dark coppery-brown with a broad orange band on the outer margin, a row of round submarginal spots that fuse with a thin black line on the margin, and a white fringe.

On both sexes the underside of the forewing is orange with black spots and a broad grayish-white band on the outer margin. The underside of the hindwing is the reverse, grayish-white with black spots and a broad orange band on the outer margin.

 
Similar
Species

American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) is smaller with a wingspan of no more than 1. The underside of the hindwing is darker and has much less orange.

 
Larval Food

Leaves of dock (Rumex spp.) and knotweed (Polygonum spp.)

 
Adult Food

Adults occasionally feed on nectar, including blackberry and red clover.

 
Life Cycle

The female lays eggs singly on the leaves of host plants. The eggs of the second brood overwinter and hatch in the spring.

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 75.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])

 

Family:

Lycaenidae (gossamer-wings)

 

Subfamily:

Lycaeninae (coppers)

 

Genus:

Lycaena

 

Subgenus:

Lycaena (Epidemia)

 
Synonyms

Hyllolycaena hyllus

Lycaena thoe

Papilio hyllus

 
Common
Names

bronze copper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Lynn Rubey
       

This tiny butterfly didn't stay still for very long but finally came close enough to get this photo as it seemed to like being in the tall grasses that provided more cover for it in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge between the West Pool and Pool 7.

  bronze copper    
       

A Bronze Copper Butterfly in the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge it was fluttering among the tall grasses weaving in and out landing for a few moments on this blade of grass.

  bronze copper    
       

A Bronze Copper Butterfly landing on a blade of grass near the edge of the road, being careful with where I stood because my shadow would send it seeking deeper cover.

  bronze copper    
       
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Other Videos
 
  Bronzed copper butterfly and honeybee forage on Sullivants Milkweed, Marion County, Ohio, USA
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 25, 2009

Sullivants milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) is a prairie milkweed hat is uncommon in Ohio but extremely abundant at the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Marion and Wyandot Counties. Although honeybees are overwhelmingly predominant floral visitors, every so often a butterfly comes to sip nectar from the flowers. Here is a bronzed copper (Lycaena hyllus). Note at the lower left, in and out of view, a 2nd honeybee is trapped, as one or more legs are caught in the slit that is the opening of the stigmatic chamber.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this insect.
 
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Be sure to include a location.

Lynn Rubey
8/19/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A Bronze Copper Butterfly landing on a blade of grass near the edge of the road, being careful with where I stood because my shadow would send it seeking deeper cover.

bronze copper


Lynn Rubey
8/9/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

This tiny butterfly didn't stay still for very long but finally came close enough to get this photo as it seemed to like being in the tall grasses that provided more cover for it in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge between the West Pool and Pool 7.

bronze copper


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

 

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Created: 8/22/2019

Last Updated:

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