Français | MBA Home | ACCDC Home
MBA Home

American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Description: This is a small orange and grey butterfly with the forewing orange above with large black spots and paler orange below with large black spots and a grey margin. The
hindwing is dark grey above with a wide orange margin and light grey below with small black spots and a narrow orange margin. Female Bronze Coppers are similar in pattern but at least twice the size and have a more prominent orange margin on the underside of the hindwing. Wingspan: 21 to 30 mm.

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

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

Flight Period: There are two flights, one from late May to early July and a second from late July to early September and occasionally a third flight in late September, early October.

Host Plant: Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) and Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella).

Notes: American Copper is found in a variety of weedy disturbed areas, including vacant city lots, suburban lawns, abandoned fields and coastal headlands. It can be hard to find, and it is thought to have been much more common in the past. A quick flier, the species can be hard to follow if it is disturbed. It is an aggressive butterfly, often chasing much larger species from its territory.