Bronze Copper

Lycaena hyllus

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Authors: (Cramer)

Egg: Laid singly on hostplant leaf or stem.

Duration: 6-12 days.

Caterpillar: Sluglike; yellow green, covered with small white dots. Solitary feeder on hostplant leaves. Up to 5/8" (17 mm) long.

Chrysalis: Yellow brown with brown spots and mottling. Up to 7/16" (12 mm) long.

Adult: Wingspan up to 1 5/8" (42 mm). Male wings above coppery brown with purple luster; orange marginal band on hindwing. Female forewing above orange with brown spots and margins; hindwing as in male. Forewing of both sexes orange below with dark spots and paler margins; hindwing pale grayish white with dark spots and broad marginal orange band.

Habitats: Fens, wet meadows, pastures and edges of watercourses.

Flight Times: Two generations, early June to mid July and mid August to September.

Overwintering Stage: Egg.

Status in CT: Resident. Local, rare. S2. CT Species of Special Concern.

Comments: This species may be declining because many of its favored habitats are subject to succession (see Conservation Chapter). Adults are nearly twice as large as the more widespread American Copper. Sometimes the Bronze Copper is locally common, as in 1996 at Haddam Meadows. The autumn generation is often more numerous than the summer generation, although not one of Connecticut's populations is especially sizeable. The species is curiously local given the abundance of its principal host, Curly Dock.

Hostplants: Curly Dock (Rumex crispus)^; Great Water Dock (Rumex orbiculatus).


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