Dorcas Copper, Lycaena dorcas

Dorcas Copper

Lycaena dorcas

Above, the wings are dark brown with a purplish sheen on the male, black spots, and an orange submarginal line on the hindwing that is much less developed than in the Purplish Copper with the orange somewhat less extensive in the males. Below this species is variable in coloration, but is often more orange-brown on the forewing and lighter on the hindwing, with a thin orange submarginal line.

Edges of bogs, open shrubby areas where its host species are present. Most references note that the larval host is Shrubby Cinquefoil, a species that doesn’t occur in most counties in Wisconsin where this species has been reported. It appears clear that its larval host is some other species in these areas.

Overwintering Strategy:   Eggs

Single brooded, with the main flight from late June into August.

As this species does occur throughout southern Michigan, including more than half of the southern three tiers of counties, it seems probable that this species could occur farther south in Wisconsin than has been recorded.

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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