Gray Copper

Lycaena dione

The Gray Copper is the largest Copper found in Wisconsin. It is found throughout the Great Plains and Wisconsin is at the eastern edge of its distribution. It should be looked for anywhere in the western part of the state.

Weekly sightings for Gray Copper

Identifying characteristics

The upper surfaces of the wings are mainly a grayish brown with a few black spots. Females have a distinctive orange band on the hindwing margin and have more black spots. This band is much reduced to nonexistent in the male. Underneath, the wing is a whitish gray with black spots throughout with a small orange band on the hind wing margin.

Similar species

The Bronze Copper is smaller, has a much wider orange band, and has an orange background on the front wing below.

Habitat

Moist areas where its larval hostplants, Rumex sp., are found. It will feed on both native and nonnative species and is often found in a variety of habitats, including weedy ditches.

Flight

This species has only one brood and can be found in flight during July.

Abundance

Uncommon in Wisconsin.

Locations

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

Buena Vista Marsh, Portage Co., WI. July 12, 2003.

Gray CopperClick to enlarge

Buena Vista Marsh, Portage Co., WI. July 12, 2003.

Gray CopperClick to enlarge

Tamarack State Wildlife Area, Trempealeau Co., WI. July 7, 2004.