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Tailed Copper Lycaena arota


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Tailed Copper
credit: Terry Spivey/CCSA

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Family: Lycaenidae, Gossamer-wing Butterflies view all from this family

Description The Tailed Copper (Lycaena arota) is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family. It is found from New Mexico north and west to Oregon, south to southern California and Baja California.

The wingspan is 30-35 mm. Each hindwing has a tail. The upper surface of the males is copper-brown with a iridescent purple sheen. The upperside of the females has an orange and dark brown pattern. The underside of both males and females is grey, with black spots on the forewings and a a band of white crescents on the hindwings. Adults are on wing from May to August in one generation per year. They feed on flower nectar.

The larvae feed on the leaves of Ribes species. The species overwinters as an egg.

Dimensions The wingspan is 30-35 mm.

Habitat Meadows & fields, Freshwater swamps, marshes & bogs, Cities, suburbs & towns.

Range California, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Northwest.