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Close-up photo of live adult Gorgon Copper butterfly

Mt. Ashland Rd, Jackson Co, July 15

Gorgon Copper

Tharsalea gorgon

AKA Lycaena gorgon

Size: 1.25 - 1.5 inches wingspan

Key ID features:  Male above coppery orange, with not spots, with purple irridescence when fresh. Female above light coppery orange with black spots, crescents and margins.   Below HW grayish white with black spots, and submarginal row of black chevrons with orange borders. 

Similar species:  Ground color of Great Copper above is more gray; below Great Copper lacks band of chevrons with orange borders below. Edith's is smaller and has brown spots below. Purplish Copper is smaller and has fewer and smaller black spots below.


Host plant: Eriogonum nudum (bare-stemmed buckwheat).

Habitat: Meadows, open areas along streams, roadsides.

Range: Found in Siskiyou Mtns, Klamath Mtns, and Warner Mtns.

Season: Late May to mid-August

Abundance: Common


Conservation Status: Secure

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