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Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe)

Description: This very small butterfly is greyish-brown above (males have a purple sheen) with scattered dark spots; in males one of these spots is conspicuously larger than the others, in females they are subequal in size. The underside is chalky white with obscure dark spots and a wavy submarginal orange band on the hindwing in subspecies phaedra. In subspecies epixanthe the underside is creamy yellow with more distinct markings. It is similar to Dorcas and Salt Marsh Copper, however both these species are larger and have much browner undersides. Wingspan: 17 to 22 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Throughout Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.

Provincial Ranks: NB: S5. NS: S5. PEI: S4.

Flight Period: Mid June to early August, possibly two overlapping broods.

Host Plant: Small Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) and Large Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon).

Subspecies: There are two subspecies occurring in the Maritimes, subspecies epixanthe in parts of New Brunswick and subspecies phaedra in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and possibly eastern New Brunswick.

Notes: This small butterfly is closely associated with the bogs that host its larval host plant. It can be very common in such habitats, especially along bog edges where it can can be seen flying slowly, low to the ground, through the vegetation.