Lycaena cupreus - (Edwards, 1870)
Lustrous Copper
Synonym(s): Chalceria cuprea ;Lycaena cuprea
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lycaena cupreus (W. H. Edwards, 1870) (TSN 777789)
French Common Names: cuivré alpin
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.110903
Element Code: IILEPC1020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Lycaenidae Lycaena
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B02OPL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Lycaena cupreus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1998
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Common, relatively widespread.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (01Sep1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (11Feb2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNR), Colorado (S5), Idaho (S5), Montana (S5), Nevada (SNR), New Mexico (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Utah (SNR), Washington (S2), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S2), British Columbia (S5)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Found in mountains of western North America, in Washington, southeast Oregon, Sierra Nevada of California, and Rocky Mountains. Local between these ranges.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Common in the Rockies and Great Basin, becoming rare in the periphery of the range.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Overall Threat Impact Comments: While most populations face few short-term threats, global warming may threaten most populations because they occur at relatively high elevation.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Habitats unlikely to be affected.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Found in mountains of western North America, in Washington, southeast Oregon, Sierra Nevada of California, and Rocky Mountains. Local between these ranges.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small (<3 cm.) copper and gray butterfly.
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Bare rock/talus/scree, Grassland/herbaceous, Tundra
Habitat Comments: Mountains, meadows, and fell-fields. Hosts may be Oxyria digyna, Rumex paucifolius. Sometimes along streams in mountains.
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Food Comments: Caterpillar Hosts: Plants of the Knotweed family (Polygonaceae) including alpine sorrel (Rumex pauciflorus), and other Rumex and Oxyria species. Adult Food: Flower nectar (Lotts and Naberhaus 2017).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Lycaena (Coppers)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or has recently occurred, where there is potential for continued occurrence or regular recurrence. Minimally a location with the larval foodplants and any other essential habitat features where the species has been verified to occur on the basis of specimens or positively identifiable photographs. High quality occurrences will usually support metapopulations.
Mapping Guidance: Often community boundaries will give good approximation of occurrence boundaries.
Separation Barriers: No information but since adults are low fliers in open habitats, it is likely dense forests are barriers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 4 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: For most species suitable habitats are not often large so the four kilometer figure would seldom apply. Apply the 4 km distance in extensive wetland complexes, considering all colonies as part of a single metapopulation occurrence. The four kilometer limit should probably apply in a few other situations where a large geologic feature or community complex contains multiple habitat patches, especially if the foodplant occurs at least occasionally between the main colony sites. It is also very likely (observed occasionally for L. EPIXANTHE in New Jersey and nearly certain for L. DORCAS) that adults move along sunny stream banks, especially if the foodplant occurs in limited amounts along them. Thus in most cases the 4 km distance is probably appropriate when wetlands or riparian habitats are connected by streams in fairly open landscapes.
Separation Justification: These butterflies generally form discrete colonies often occupying a few hectares or less but generally occupy all habitats where these are clustered. Adults generally stay in these small areas but are occasionally seen outside them, at least with L. EPIXANTHE this is especially true of females. At least in areas where habitats are frequent on the landscape most species are good colonizers. J. Michaud in Rhode Island has documented some inter-site movement in L. EPIXANTHE and it has been observed to recolonize after eradications in floods or fires in New Jersey. Really isolated taxa such as L. DOSPASSOSI and L. DORCAS CLAYTONI occur as clusters of colonies in apparent metapopulations. Some species are rather ephemeral more or less fugitive species, notably L. HYLLUS. Still most adults undoubtedly never leave their small habitats and thus two kilometers should be more than enough to separate populations in most cases in the absence of at least small "stepping stone" patches. Also in areas where habitats are widely scattered (>10 kilometers apart) and isolated such as bogs in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey south of the Mullica River most seemingly suitable habitats are unoccupied (in these cases referring to L. EPIXANTHE). Most eastern limestone region were never colonized by L. DORCAS. These observations suggest lack of long distance movements.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Inferred extent is very rarely applicable since most colonies are tiny and the sites obviously fully occupied and only the patch where the observation was made is assumed occupied. However when habitat complexes are truly large, e.g. some northern peatlands with metapopulations of L. EPIXANTHE and L. DORCAS, it would be unreasonable not to assume very nearby patches are occupied and in such cases usually either all or none of them are. Still apparently more so than most butterflies coppers do sometimes fail to occupy or persist in seemingly suitable proximate habitats, and colonies can be very localized. If the actual foodplant patch itself extends continuously for more than .5 kilometer presence may be inferred throughout it. In most cases foodplants are patchier than that.
Date: 25Jul2001
Author: Schweitzer, D. F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Jul1987
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Opler, P.A.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 10May2001

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Guppy, C.S. and J.H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia. UBC Press and Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria, British Columbia. 414 pp.

  • Hinchliff, J. 1996. Records used in the atlas of butterfly records from Washington. Unpublished

  • Lotts, K., and T. Naberhaus, coordinators. 2017. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Available online: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version December 2018).

  • Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.

  • Pelham, J. P. 2008. A catalogue of the butterflies of the United States and Canada with a complete bibliography of the descriptive and systematic literature. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. Volume 40. 658 pp. Revised 14 February, 2012.

  • Pohl, G.R.  J-F. Landry, B.C. Schmidt, J.D. Lafontaine, J.T. Troubridge, A.D. Macaulay, E.van Nieukerken, J.R. deWaard, J.J. Dombroskie, J. Klymko, V. Nazari and K. Stead. 2018. Annotated checklist of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers. 580 pp.

  • Pyle, R.M. 1989. Washington butterfly conservation status report. Report to WA Dpt. Wildlife. 217 pp. unpub.

  • Pyle, R.M. 2002. The butterflies of Cascadia. Seattle Audubon Society. Seattle, WA. 420 pp.

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