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American Copper Butterfly: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Amazing American copper butterfly facts that you can't forget!

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) is a type of butterfly that is native to North America and belongs to the family of Lycaenidae. The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) can be found on host plants in gardens with flowers such as butterfly weed, mistflower, and mints. The vast vegetation and greenery in these areas help the caterpillar to survive. American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) adult butterflies only live for a short period of two weeks or no longer than 16 days. The entire lifespan of the butterfly from the time the eggs are laid to death is just about a month and a half. The American copper butterfly typical coloration range is from orange to red to brown and sometimes even gray. The small copper wings of these butterflies have a thin and delicate orange border. The wings are bright orange with small black spots in the upper half. This species with bright orange wings are the most common butterfly species in North America. The adult species are delicate.

Check out below for more exciting and fun facts about this American copper butterfly. For more relatable content, check out these purple emperor butterfly facts and mud dauber wasp facts for kids.

American Copper Butterfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an American copper butterfly?

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) is a type of butterfly that is native to North America and belongs to the family of Lycaenidae.

What class of animal does an American copper butterfly belong to?

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) belongs to the class of Insecta.

How many American copper butterflies are there in the world?

The exact number of American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterflies in the world is not known. It is one of the commonly found butterflies, seen more prominently in the United States but are not endemic. They might move in search of food and a favorable climate.

Where does an American copper butterfly live?

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) inhabits the northern part of America. This species distribution range can be observed in North America in the regiosn of Sandy Hook GNRA, Flatbrookville, Riverwinds Scenic Trail, Cape May Point SP, Medford Leas, and Colliers Mills WMA.

What is an American copper butterfly's habitat?

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) habitat primarily consists of large open lands with a high amount of vegetation and plants like the host plants in gardens with flowers such as butterfly weed, mistflower, and mints. The vast vegetation and greenery in these areas help the caterpillar to survive.

Who does the American copper butterfly live with?

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterfly lives independently or solitarily but are found in groups while mating or while consuming food and nectar from the host plant or plants. These butterflies are very calm and sweet and often share a meal without creating any ruckus. However, the caterpillars are considered social and even live in a social habitat and can be found in small groups crawling around.

How long does an American copper butterfly live?

American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) adult butterflies only live for a short period of two weeks or no longer than 16 days. The entire lifespan of the butterfly from the time the eggs are laid to death is just about a month and a half.

How do they reproduce?

The American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) species of butterflies live to the stage of reproduction only. Due to the chemical that is released by male butterflies, female butterflies are attracted to them. During this process, the male butterfly releases and passes its sperm to the female butterfly. The sperm travels to the egg-laying tube where it is fertilized. Once the fertilization process is done, the female butterfly lays its eggs on the underside of leaves on plants. This egg will change its color which basically protects the egg from danger. This egg will hatch 9-12 days after which it turns into larvae. The larva is a small caterpillar that undergoes multiple changes in a series of different cycles. These caterpillars develop small spiky hairs on their body that can poke and annoy predators. This larvae of the American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) will attach to the big leaves or plants for approximately two weeks. The last stage is the adult stage, where the caterpillar will have long legs with an orange border and small copper wings, and random black spots with a light gray body.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the American copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterfly is Not Evaluated but it has a stable population. Due to deforestation, human threats, and predators, chances of this butterfly entering the Red List are high.

American Copper Butterfly Fun Facts

What does an American copper butterfly look like?

The American copper butterfly's typical coloration range is from orange to red to brown and sometimes even gray. The small copper wings of these butterflies have a thin and delicate orange border. The wings are bright orange with small black spots in the upper half. This species of bright orange wings are the most common species in North America. The adult species are delicate, with 0.7-1.5 in (18-38 mm) wingspan. They are rapid and swift fliers and can be identified because of their bright orange iridescent wings. One way to distinguish between the male and female is their forelegs. A male’s forelegs are reduced, but the female's are fully developed and longer.

These butterflies are beautiful creatures.

How cute are they?

This species is one of the most beautiful species of butterflies in North America. Their beautiful bright orange wings are astonishing to look at. The infrequent small gray-black designs and spots make them even more beautiful.

How do they communicate?

Adult males release a chemical called pheromones to attract females during the process of breeding. In some cases, they flap and flutter their wings to produce sounds and actions that can distract the other butterflies. Their bright orange-colored wings help in communicating even from long distances.

How big is an American copper butterfly?

The American copper butterfly is 0.9-1.2 in (2.4-3.2 cm) in length. It is 20 times smaller than the morpho butterfly

How fast can an American copper butterfly run?

The American copper butterfly is not a very swift runner but is a very swift flyer. These butterflies are among the fastest in their range of species because of their wingspan. Thy are the second fastest in their family of Lycaenidae.

How much does an American copper butterfly weigh?

This butterfly is very light weight and weighs only 0.07-0.1 oz (2-3 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names that are given to the male or female butterfly of this species. All butterflies of this family are called American copper butterflies.

What would you call a baby American copper butterfly?

The baby butterfly is called a larva. They are small in size without wings. Their wingspan is less than half of the wingspan of the adult butterfly. This larva is also called a caterpillar.

What do they eat?

The diet of the American copper butterfly primarily consists of flower nectar of sheep sorrel, Rumex acetosella, and other flowers.

Praying mantis, lacewings, spiders, ladybirds, and wasps are some of their predators.

Are they dangerous?

No, butterflies are harmless creatures. They are very shy in nature and go about minding their own business flying from one plant to another plant occasionally seen on stumps or barks.

Would they make a good pet?

These butterflies would make good pets as they do not harm anyone nor do they bite. It is not a good idea to keep these insects as pets as they like to fly and flutter around in the open all their life. It is best to let them stay that way.

Did you know...

The bright wings of these beautiful, attractive creatures are often used to make bright jewellery and decorative items

If you touch a butterfly, the gray-orange color of the wings is likely to transfer to your fingers.

How many eggs do American copper butterflies lay?

These butterflies can lay an average of 100 eggs or up to three broods.

What is the wingspan of the American copper butterfly?

The wingspan of the American copper butterfly is 0.7-1.5 in (18-38 mm).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our red admiral butterfly fun facts and milkweed tussock moth interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable life cycle of a butterfly coloring pages.

Main image by Adrian Tync

Second image by Zeynel Cebeci

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