Purple-edged copper

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Purple-edged copper
Lycaena hippothoe. Male, upperface
Lycaenidae - Lycaena hippothoe eurydame.JPG
Lycaena hippothoe eurydame. Male, underface
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Genus: Lycaena
Species: L. hippothoe
Binomial name
Lycaena hippothoe
(Linnaeus, 1761)

The purple-edged copper (Lycaena hippothoe) is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae.


Subspecies include: [1]

Lycaena hippothoe eurydame is considered by some authors a valid species with the name of Lycaena euryname. [2][3][4]


This species is present in the Western Europe and in Siberia up to the region of the river Amur.[1][2]


It inhabits forest edges, swampy and damp meadows, clearings and river banks, at an elevation of 400–1,800 metres (1,300–5,900 ft) above sea level. [5][6]



Lycaena hippothoe can reach a wingspan of 34–38 millimetres (1.3–1.5 in).[7][5] The upperface of the wings is deep orange-red in males, with a brown or purple edging (hence the common name). The spots in the forewing post discal row form an arc. The female's appearance varies between subspecies, they are usually very dark brown, with brown spots on the forewings.[8] The underside is virtually the same in both sexes. It is light orange and light brown with brown-black spots surrounded by white. The larvae are green and grow up to 20 millimeters long. This species is rather similar to Lycaena alciphron and Lycaena virgaureae.



This species has one generation in June in northern and eastern Europe, two generations in May and then in July in southern Europe. [9] Females lay eggs individually by June-July. Caterpillars feed on Rumex spp. (mainly on Rumex acetosella, Rumex acetosa, Rumex hydrolapathum, Rumex confertus) and Polygonum bistorta. [1] Caterpillars hibernate after the first molt. They pupate on the ground. Adults fly from June–July to September. [5]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Funet
  2. ^ a b Fauna europaea
  3. ^ Simona Bonelli, Francesca Barbero, Luca Pietro Caszacci, Cristiana Cerrato& Emilio Balletto The butterfl y fauna of the Italian Maritime Alps: results of the EDIT project
  4. ^ E. Balletto, L. Cassulo & S. Bonelli An annotated Checklist of the Italian Butterflies and Skippers (Papilionoidea, Hesperiioidea) ZOOTAXA 2014
  5. ^ a b c Simon Coombes Captain's European Butterfly Guide
  6. ^ Lepiforum.de
  7. ^ UK Butterflies
  8. ^ EuroButterflies by Matt Rowlings
  9. ^ Tom Tolman et Richard Lewington, Guide des papillons d'Europe et d'Afrique du Nord, Delachaux et Niestlé, 1997 (ISBN 978-2-603-01649-7)