Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Dorcas Copper
Lycaena dorcas (W. Kirby, 1837)

Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Lycaeninae
Identification: Upperside brown; male with blue-purple iridescence, female with few light areas. Hindwing with a few red-orange spots on border near anal angle. Underside is orange-brown.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Males perch and patrol near hostplants for females. Eggs are laid singly on the underside of host leaflets and drop to the ground in autumn. The eggs overwinter and in the spring the young caterpillars must find their way to the host plant to feed on the leaves.
Flight: One flight from June-September.
Caterpillar Hosts: Shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) and other cinquefoils.
Adult Food: Not reported.
Habitat: Edges of bogs, old brushy fields, open places near small streams.
Range: Boreal Alaska and Canada south to Washington, east to eastern Ontario and the northern Great Lakes states. Isolated population in Maine.
Conservation: Subspecies claytoni in Maine should be conserved.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Manage and conserve habitat of Clayton\'s copper in Maine.
Comments: NULL