Common Copper

Scientific Name
Lycaena salustius
FABRICIUS, 1793
Specie in
Family
Common Copper Lycaena salustius, male Arthur's Pass, South Island, NZ – Nigel Peace
Common Copper Lycaena salustius, male Arthur’s Pass, South Island, NZ – Nigel Peace

Introduction

The current classification of the genus Lycaena is unsatisfactory and in need of revision. The genus is loosely split into several unofficial groupings, which ultimately will be classified as sub-genera or new genera. Under existing classification there are about 70 Lycaena species, variously distributed across temperate regions of the world.

There were originally thought to be only 4 Lycaena species in New Zealand i.e. salustius, feredayi, boldenarum and rauparaha, but the former boldenarum subspecies tama and caerulea are now recognised as full species, as is edna which was formerly regarded as a subspecies of salustius.

Lycaena salustius is endemic to New Zealand.

Lycaena salustius female, Arthur's Pass, South Island, NZ – Martin Gascoigne-Pees
Lycaena salustius female, Arthur’s Pass, South Island, NZ – Martin Gascoigne-Pees

Habitats

This species occurs in a wide range of habitats ranging from coastal sand dunes to montane tussock grassland at 2000m.

Lifecycle

The larval foodplants are Muehlenbeckia species ( Polygonaceae ).

Adult behaviour

The adults have a rapid erratic flight just above ground level.

Common Copper Lycaena salustius, male – Martin Gascoigne-Pees
Common Copper Lycaena salustius, male – Martin Gascoigne-Pees

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Butterfly of
Scientific Name
Lycaena salustius
by
FABRICIUS, 1793
Family
SubFamily
LYCAENINAE
Tribe
LYCAENINI
SubTribe
N/A

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