Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Lilac-bordered Copper
Lycaena nivalis (Boisduval, 1869)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Lycaeninae
Identification: Upperside of male coppery brown with red-orange sheen; females brown to orange. Underside yellow or cream with a pink-purple tinge toward the outer edge.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 3/8 inches (2.5 - 3.5 cm).
Life History: Males perch in hollows in open areas to watch for females. Eggs are laid singly on or near base of host plant; hibernate until the next spring. Caterpillars feed on leaves.
Flight: One flight from June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Douglas\' knotweed (Polygonum douglasii) in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open forest, sagebrush hillsides near streams, rocky valley floors.
Range: British Columbia south and east to central California, Wyoming, and Colorado.
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