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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Bronze Copper
Lycaena hyllus  CRAMER, 1775
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe -
Lycaena hyllus male, Nine Acre Corner, Concord, Massachusetts, USA Frank Model
Introduction
The current classification of the genus Lycaena is unsatisfactory and in need of revision. The genus is loosely split into several unofficial groupings, which ultimately will be classified as sub-genera or new genera. Under existing classification there are about 70 Lycaena species, variously distributed across temperate regions of the world. There are 17 species in North America.
Females of hyllus have prominent black spots on the forewings, but in males these are suffused and vestigial. At certain angles when viewed in sunlight males have a pink or purplish iridescence.
At lower altitudes and across most of its range hyllus has 2 broods, in June and August. In colder regions and at higher altitudes it produces a single generation in late July.
Lycaena hyllus is found in the northern and eastern states of the USA, and in central Canada.
Habitats
This species inhabits wet meadows, marshes and the shores of lakes and lagoons.
Lifecycle
The egg is greenish-white and is laid singly on the leaves, petioles or stems of various species of dock Rumex or bistort Polygonum ( Polygonaceae ). The egg overwinters and may be submerged for several weeks. The larva hatches in early spring and feeds on the leaves, resting on the under-surface of the leaf. When fully grown it is yellowish-green, with a yellow-edged dark green line along the back. The pupa is pale yellowish-brown, speckled with dark brown.
Adult behaviour

Males perch with wings held half-open on dock leaves and other low vegetation, ready to intercept passing females. Both sexes nectar at a wide range of plants, favouring Asteraceae.

 

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