Gray Copper, Lycaena diane

Gray Copper

Lycaena diane

The upper surfaces of the wings are mainly a grayish brown with a few black spots. Females have a distinctive orange band on the hindwing margin and have more black spots. This band is much reduced to nonexistent in the male. Underneath, the wing is a whitish gray with black spots throughout with a small orange band on the hind wing margin.

Moist areas where its larval hostplants, Rumex sp., are found. It will feed on both native and nonnative species and is often found in a variety of habitats, including weedy ditches.

Overwintering Strategy:   Eggs

This species has only one brood and can be found in flight during July.

The Gray Copper is the largest Copper found in Wisconsin. It is found throughout the Great Plains and Wisconsin is at the eastern edge of its distribution. It should be looked for anywhere in the western part of the state.

Overwintering Strategy

Two-way migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to Central Mexico
Small migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to southern US
Immigrant: Adult migrates into Wisconsin from warmer areas and don't fly south in winter
Adult Butterfly: Hibernates overwinter as an adult butterfly
Eggs: Eggs laid on stems, twigs or foot plants overwinter in diapause
Caterpillar: Caterpillars make nests on the base of plants and hibernate until spring
Chrysalis: Caterpillars shed their last skin, form a chrysalis and enter diapause.

For more information, read: Where Do Butterflies Go In Winter?

Further Information:   

 Design A Butterfly Garden
 Take The Butterfly Quiz
 Monarch Life Cycle
 Butterflies and Moths of North America
 Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Assn (NABA)
 The Butterfly Site

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