Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus

Bronze Copper

Lycaena hyllus

Description:
The upper surfaces of the male and females of this species are different. The male is mainly brownish, with a hint of purple that is best observed in fresh specimens. The hind wing margins of both the male and the females have orange bands. The female differs in that the upper forewing has a copper-colored area with more obvious dark spots than the male. Below, the sexes are similar, with a large orange band on the hind wing margin, a very light color with black dots on the hind wing, and an orange/copper tinge to the front wing.

Habitat:
Wetlands and wetland edges where various species of docks and knotweeds are available as host plants.

Overwintering Strategy:   Eggs

Flight:   
2-3 broods, the first in early June.

Notes:   
The Bronze Copper has been found throughout Wisconsin except for the northernmost counties, and is common in the southern counties. It is found in moister habitats than the American Copper, and edges of wetland areas are prime spots for this showy butterfly. The butterfly is often found perching on vegetationw hen good nectar sources like Swamp Milkweed are available.

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
 WisconsinButterflies.org
 Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Assn (NABA)
 The Butterfly Site

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