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Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus)

Description: A medium sized butterfly. In males the upperside of the forewing is purplish-brown, in females this surface is orange with large dark spots and a thick dark brown margin. In both sexes the upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a thick orange margin. The underside of the hindwing is silvery white with small black spots and a prominent orange margin. Dorcas and Bog Copper are similar in appearance to the male similar but much smaller and with less conspicuous orange borders; American Copper is similar to the female but much smaller and with a much narrower orange border on the underside of the hindwing. Wingspan: 23 to 38 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Limited to southern and eastern New Brunswick, western and central Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. For Atlas results click here.

Provincial Ranks: NB: S3. NS: S2. PEI: S3.

Flight Period: There are two overlapping generations. Early July to mid September.

Host Plant: Curled Dock (Rumex crispus), Water Dock (Rumex orbiculatus) and knotweeds (Polygonum spp.).

Notes: Bronze Copper can be found in a variety of open wet habitats. It is usually found along dikes and in the open parts of marshes that haven’t become overgrown in cattails. It favors man made marshes with relatively deep water and the edges of salt marshes. The proliferation of Ducks Unlimited impoundments in the Maritimes may have led to an increase in its abundance. It is occasionally seen nectaring on flowers but usually rests on marsh grasses.