|scientific name Lycaena phlaeas |
common name Small Copper
Moist mountain meadows, often above tree line.
Single -brooded, most often encountered between mid July and mid August.
No other Alberta coppers have a metallic, coppery forewing and brown hindwing upperside with a broad orange border. Our subspecies (arethusa) differs substantially from the eastern North American (hypophlaeas) and European (nominate phlaeas) populations in habitat, appearance and ecology, and may be a distinct species.
The immature stages are incompletely known. Mature larvae from the Yukon are green with a pink dorsal stripe and pink below the midline (Guppy & Shepard 2001). The egg or first instar larva overwinters (Guppy & Shepard 2001).
Not of concern.
Larvae feed on mountain sorrel (Oxyria digyna) in the arctic (Layberry et al. 1998).
The Arctic islands south to Wyoming, with an isolated population in the Sierra Nevada of California (Opler 1999). Also widespread in eastern north America, where it may have been introduced from Fennoscandia (Layberry et al. 1998).
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