Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Mariposa Copper
Lycaena mariposa (Reakirt, 1866)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Lycaeninae
Identification: Upperside of male iridescent purple with black borders and pale markings; female yellow-orange with more distinctive markings. Underside hindwing of both sexes is mottled gray.
Wing Span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Males perch in low spots to watch for females.
Flight: One flight from July-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Vaccinium arbuscula in California, and other plants of the heath family (Ericaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Forest openings and bogs where host plants grow.
Range: Southern Alaska south along the Rocky Mountains to Wyoming; Washington, central Oregon, northeastern California.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week is June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.