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Mariposa Copper Butterfly

Eastern Washington

Picture of Mariposa Copper butterfly or Lycaena mariposa
Mariposa copper butterfly or Lycaena mariposa

Mariposa copper butterfly (Lycaena mariposa) caterpillars are adapted to rely on heaths as their host plant, for food, while adult butterflies nectar from a variety of flowers including yarrow, aster, daisy and yellow sedum among others.

The upper wing surface of males is coffee brown, while the female's is yellow-orange with heavy black spots. Mariposa coppers have black and white checks on the fringes of their wings, while the underside is mottled gray or brownish gray with black spots. Wingspan is 1-1/8 to 1-1/4 inch.

The recently discovered Makah Copper, a Western Washington subspecies of Mariposa Copper butterfly, is a state candidate and federal species of concern.

Mariposa Copper Butterfly - Lycaena mariposa
Mariposa copper butterfly

Mariposa Copper Butterfly
Mariposa copper butterfly

Mariposa copper butterfly picture ventral wing
Mariposa copper butterfly ventral wing