|scientific name Lycaena dione |
common name Grey Copper
Wetland edges, moist meadows and weedy, disturbed areas where dock (Rumex) grows.
The singly yearly flight occurs between late June and early September, peaking in mid July.
This is one of only two coppers in the province that have a predominantly grey upperside; the other large, grey copper is Edith's (L. editha), which differs in having more irregularly-shaped underside spots, giving it a splotchy appearance. It is not known if Edith's Copper still occurs in Alberta (see species account for L. editha).
Eggs are laid on the leaf underside of the foodplant, and, the larva is green with a dark green or reddish dorsal stripe when mature (Opler & Krizek 1984). Males will chase other passing butterflies (Bird et al. 1995).
Not of concern.
The larvae feed on docks (Rumex crispus, R. occidentalis) on the Canadian prairies (Layberry et al. 1998). Adults nectar at thistles (Cirsium spp.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and yellow sweet clover (Melilotis sp.) (Hooper 1973, Bird et al. 1995, Guppy & Shepard 2001).
A species of the Great Plains, ranging from the southern Prairie Provinces and extreme western Ontario south to Texas and east to Illinois and Missouri (Opler 1999). A disjunct population occurs in the Columbia Valley region of southern BC (Guppy & Shepard 2001).
Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.