Butterflies of Mexico,
USA & Canada
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
female, Gooseberry Creek, Thermopolis, Wyoming, USA
© Frank Model
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.
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.
is found in the western states of the USA.
This species inhabits meadows and damp marshy ground along the sides
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.
perch on low herbage, with wings held half open, to await and
intercept passing females. Both sexes nectar at a wide range of