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Salt Marsh Copper (Lycaena dospassosi)

Description: Very similar to Dorcas Copper, Salt Marsh Copper averages much larger and has proportionately larger black spots on the upper and lower sides of the wing. The undersides of the wings are yellow as opposed to the orange found in Dorcas Copper. Males tend to be duller purple above than male Dorcas Coppers. Wingspan: 25 to 31 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Found along the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast from Gloucester County, New Brunswick, to Inverness County, Nova Scotia and coastal areas of Prince Edward Island.
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Provincial Ranks: NB: S3. NS: S2. PEI: S3.

Flight Period: Mid July to mid August.

Host Plant: Eged’s Silverweed (Argentina egedii).

Notes: Salt Marsh Copper is one of only four butterfly species endemic to Canada. In addition to the Maritimes it also occurs on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. This species is limited to salt marshes where they may be very common. The adults can be found in drier parts of the salt marsh where the host plant grows among low marsh grasses. Adults are frequently found nectaring on Sea-Lavender (Limonium carolinianum) but will also nectar on other flowering plants growing along roadsides and dikes at marsh edges.