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American Copper(Lycaena phlaeas)

American Copper(Lycaena phlaeas)
Photo Information
Copyright: Derek Grant (PeakXV) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 121 W: 0 N: 544] (3135)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-10-03
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D 60, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR DX
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-10-04 7:09
Viewed: 2542
Points: 13
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This little butterfly (wingspan: 21 to 30 mm) has bright metallic orange forewings with a grey border and black spots. The hindwing is grey with an orange border. The hindwing underside is grey with a wavy, dull submarginal orange line.

The eastern population is Lycaena phlaeas americana. Opler and Malikul (1992) suggested that the eastern population was introduced from Europe in colonial times because it is associated with waste places and an introduced foodplant, and resembles European material. Unlike European specimens, however, subspecies americana has a pale grey (rather than brown) hindwing underside, with larger, more sharply defined, black spots. In Europe second generation Lycaena phlaeas tend to be duskier in colour and have short tails, unlike subspecies americana. Subspecies americana is most similar to subspecies polaris Courvoisier, which occurs in northern Fennoscandia. Subspecies feildeni, with yellow-orange forewings and smaller black spots, occurs through tundra areas of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories and along the arctic coast of Yukon and Alaska. Subspecies arethusa, with dusky forewings, occurs from the Rocky Mountains of Alberta northward to Boreal Zone habitat in southern and central Yukon. Specimens closely resembling subspecies polaris, of northern Europe and Russia, occur in high-elevation tundra in Yukon; these are similar to subspecies americana but are darker grey on the hindwing beneath.

The American Copper is found throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and north into the Arctic to Hazen Lake, near the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. In the east, subspecies americana is found from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, west to northwestern Ontario, with an isolated record from Saskatchewan at Regina (Hooper, 1973). The northern and western subspecies occur throughout the tundra areas of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Alaska, and southward in the mountains to the Columbia River in British Columbia and through Alberta to Wyoming, with an isolated population in the Sierra Nevada in California.

For such a small butterfly it can be very pugnacious, chasing off other butterflies from its territory. It is most often found nectaring on flowers such as goldenrods.


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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Derek,
excellent use of light. Very good colours. Perfect point of view. Nice presentation.
Thanks for sharing,

Ciao Derek, lovely little butterfly on beautiful lighting BG, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Lovely little butterfly with great definition, POV and contrast portrayed

Beautiful picture of the butterfly, TFS

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 1 N: 535] (5799)
  • [2012-10-04 12:37]

Beatiful picture, great light and color, excellent sharpness and very good composition. I like it is full of life. Congratulation.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-10-04 12:54]

Hello Derek,
Excellent sharp detailed photo in beautiful light and colours. Nice contrast against the blurred background. Good choice of composition.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-10-04 14:47]

Hi Derek,magnificent capture of one of the most common butterfly of my country too,i like the great details everywhere despite the wings position,perfect colors too.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

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