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Species Lycaena helloides - Purplish Copper - Hodges#4262

Purplish Copper -  Lycaena helloides - Lycaena helloides - female Copper - Lycaena helloides - male Lycaena helloides? - Lycaena helloides - male Lycaena helloides Purplish Copper - Lycaena helloides Lycaenidae: Lycaena halloides - Lycaena helloides Lycaena helloides Lycaena helloides
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Harvesters)
Subfamily Lycaeninae (Coppers)
Genus Lycaena
Species helloides (Purplish Copper - Hodges#4262)
Hodges Number
Males' brown above with purplish refraction and dark spots. Pyle (1) observes that males have the structural ability "to go from penny-brown to neon-purple in the flash of a sunbeam...". Darker margins in both sexes.
Females with orange above, and with dark spots generally stronger than in males.
Dorsal and ventral HW margin with orange lunules in both sexes.
Distinguished from the similar Dorcas Copper (L. dorcas) by the extensive orange band on the edge of the hindwing upperside (vs. reduced orange band in Dorcas Copper), and the grayish-yellow underside of the wings (vs. brownish-orange in Dorcas Copper)
United States and southern Canada from Ontario, Ohio, and Missouri west to the Pacific in California and southern British Columbia. Enters Mexico in mountains of northern Baja California.
moist areas where the larval hosts, species of Knotweed (Polygonum) and Dock (Rumex) grow.
In most areas adults fly from spring through summer and fall in at least two or three broods.
Larval foodplants: mainly species of Knotweed (Polygonum) and Dock (Rumex in family Polygonaceae, perhaps Cinquefoils (Dasiphora fruticosa & Potentilla species) in family Rosaceae.
Very similar to, highly confused with, and perhaps not specifically distinct from 'Dorcas Copper' (Lycaena dorcas). The separation of the two "species" is difficult and based largely on location and habitat. The host plants may be consistently different (Polygonaceae for L. helloides and Rosaceae [and perhaps Ericaceae] for L. dorcas), but records are confused, and this is still not entirely certain.

Populations from higher elevations in the Rockies are sometimes treated as L. dorcas instead of the more traditional placement under L. helloides. This is the treatment used in the 'Butterflies of America' site, and is currently followed here.
Print References
Guppy & Shepard(2001)(2)
Scott(1986) (3)
James & Nunnallee (2011) (4) - excellent source of information on biology & immatures.
Works Cited
1.The Butterflies of Cascadia: A Field Guide to All the Species of Washington, Oregon, and Surrounding Territories
Robert Michael Pyle, Idie Ulsh, David Nunnallee. 2002. Seattle Audubon Society.
2.Butterflies of British Columbia
Crispin S. Guppy, Jon H. Shepard. 2001. UBC Press.
3.The Butterflies of North America
James A. Scott. 1986. Stanford University Press.
4.Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies
David G. James and David Nunnallee. 2011. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR.