Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Great Copper
Lycaena xanthoides (Boisduval, 1852)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Lycaeninae
Identification: Gray above with orange band and black spots along edge of hindwing. Below tan with black spots. Orange trim on hind trim on hindwing.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.3 - 4.4 cm).
Life History: Males perch and patrol flats and streambeds in search of receptive females.
Flight: May to mid-August, usually late May to mid-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Several dock species.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open foothills and valleys.
Range: Southern Oregon south through westside California to extreme northern Baja California.
Conservation: None required, although range is being invaded by exotic European weeds that may reduce habitat suitability and availability. Subspecies obsolescens limited to Hunter Mountain in Death Valley National Monument is extremely limited in distribution.
NCGR: G-5. Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery. Subspecies obsolescens is ranked G5T1.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL
Alternate Scientific Names:
Gaeides xanthoides

Pollinator Week was 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.