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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Ruddy Copper
Lycaena rubidus  BEHR, 1866
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe -
Lycaena rubidus female, Gooseberry Creek, Thermopolis, Wyoming, 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.
Males of rubidus are an intense reddish-copper colour, and very faintly marked with suffused dark spots. The iridescence on females is yellowish-orange, and the spots on their uppersides are dark and very prominent. The markings on the underside hindwings of both sexes are faint or absent.
Lycaena rubidus is found in the western states of the USA.
Habitats
This species inhabits meadows and damp marshy ground along the sides of streams.
Lifecycle
The egg is white and is laid singly on a stem or leaf of Rumex or Oxyria ( Polygonaceae ). The egg overwinters, and may be submerged for several weeks. The caterpillar when fully grown is brown with a yellow-edged reddish dorsal stripe. The pupa is pale buff, heavily mottled with black.
Adult behaviour

Males perch on low herbage, with wings held half open, to await and intercept passing females. Both sexes nectar at a wide range of flowers.

 

 

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