Lycaena orus

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Western sorrel copper
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Genus: Lycaena
Species: L. orus
Binomial name
Lycaena orus
(Stoll, [1780])[1]
  • Papilio orus Cramer, 1780
  • Papilio arcas Fabricius, 1787

Lycaena orus, the western sorrel copper, is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family. It is found only in South Africa[2] (Eastern Cape Province, Western Cape Province). The habitat consists of fynbos at various altitudes, from sea level to montane regions.

The wingspan is 21–27 mm. The butterfly flies year-round, peaking in summer.[2]

Larval food is Polygonum undulatum and Rumex lanceolatus.[2] They feed on the edge of the leaves of their host plant, occupying the portion eaten out, the dorsal line of the larva resembling the actual edge of the leaf. The general colour of the larvae matches the leaf or stalk where it is feeding, some are plain green, while others have a pink or salmon dorsal stripe.[3]


Media related to Lycaena orus at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Lycaena at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ a b c Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7. 
  3. ^ Afrotropical Butterflies: Lycaenidae - Subfamily Lycaeninae