Close-up photo of adult Purplish Copper butterfly

King Mountain Rd, Harney Co, June 13

Purplish Copper

Tharsalea helloides

 

AKA Lycaena helloides

Size: 1 - 1.25 inches wingspan

Key ID features:  Male above brownish with purple iridescence when fresh. Female above light orange with black spots and wide brown borders.   Male and female HW below lavender with submarginal orange zigzag line (females darker); FW below with black spots. 

Similar species: Lilac-bordered has distinctive two-toned HW below. Other coppers have white or grayish undersides.

 

Host plant: Docks (Rumex) and Knotweeds (Polygonum).

Habitat: Wide variety of habitats.

Range: All of Oregon.

Season: Late April to mid-October

Abundance: Common

 

Conservation Status: Secure