Bog Copper

Lycaena epixanthe

The Bog Copper is the smallest Copper found in Wisconsin. It is found exclusively in bogs where wild cranberry, its host plant grows. It is a very weak flier and typically flies very low to the ground in the wettest parts of the bog.

Notice that the butterflies in the photos are fairly worn and lack the bright colors that more recently emerged individuals would have.

Weekly sightings for Bog Copper

Identifying characteristics

The male is brown above, with a purplish sheen on fresh specimens, a larger spot in the middle of the upper wing, and several smaller spots. The female has many more spots, and the spots are usually all similar in size. Below, the ground color is pale, with a reddish submarginal zigzag pattern on the hind wing.

Similar species

The Purplish Copper and the Dorcas Copper are very similar to the Bog Copper. They are best distinguished by viewing the upper wings of the Bog Copper, which has far fewer spots than either the Purplish or the Dorcas Coppers. It is also somewhat smaller, but this is difficult to tell in the field. The ground color below of the Bog Copper is somewhat variable, but is lacking in the orange tinge that is usually present, at least on the front wing, on Purplish and Dorcas Coppers.

Habitat

Acid bogs where cranberries are present.

Flight

One brood from the end of June through July.

Abundance

Found in scattered locations throughout northern Wisconsin. This species, like many species that are limited to a very specific habitat, may become abundant where it is found.

Early Bog Copper Sightings

Date County Reported by
Jun 13, 2012 Marathon Mary Backus
Jun 18, 2006 Taylor Kyle E. Johnson 
Jun 20, 2010 Wood Ron Arnold
Jun 20, 2012 Marathon Mary Backus
Jun 22, 2012 Oconto Douglas Buege

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Bog Copper
Map key
Bog CopperClick to enlarge

2 miles east of N. Settlement Rd., Jackson County Forest, Jackson Co., WI, July 16, 2004

Bog CopperClick to enlarge

Male

Glocke Lake SNA, Oconto Co., WI, July 24, 2004.

Bog CopperClick to enlarge

Female

Glocke Lake SNA, Oconto Co., WI, July 24, 2004.

Bog CopperClick to enlarge

Female

Glocke Lake SNA, Oconto Co., WI, July 24, 2004.

Bog CopperClick to enlarge

Female

Glocke Lake SNA, Oconto Co., WI, July 24, 2004.