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Purplish copper

Lycaena helloides

Description:

The female (pics 1 and 2) is a relatively small butterfly with a wingspan that is 30–38 mm. The upper side of the wings is light brown to orange-brown with dark markings and an orange band near the margin of the hindwings. The male (pics 3 and 4) is very similar but with less orange-brown and often with purple iridescence on the upper surface. I initially found these two in a twirling mating dance. When they finally landed I was able to get pics of both individually.

Habitat:

Spotted in eastern Washington in the Cascade foothills above 2000 ft. along a dirt road where there was an opening in the forest. Plenty of Thistle and other wildflowers in the area.

Notes:

Adults feed on flower nectar. The larvae feed on the leaves of Polygonum, Rumex, and sometimes Potentilla species. The species overwinters as an egg.

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Brian38
Spotted by
Brian38

Cle Elum, Washington, United States

Spotted on Aug 8, 2020
Submitted on Aug 30, 2020

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