Lycaena heteronea

Common Name
Blue Copper
"Varied Blue"

Despite its astonishing sky-blue color (in the male), this is anatomically a perfectly normal Copper.

It occurs at Lang (somewhat irregularly), Donner and Basin-Castle Peaks. Males are territorial perchers, often on the host plant. Occurs in montane and alpine "rock garden" habitat.

Our populations are nearly unmarked on the hindwing beneath. (Some local Northern California populations are heavily spotted, like those in the Rocky Mountains.) Females vary considerably; some are sooty brown on top, some are heavily "checkered" in buff, and some have substantial amounts of blue.

The host plants are perennial Wild Buckwheats, both the Eriogonum nudum group and Sulphur Flower, E. umbellatum--and perhaps others. The flight period is July-September, generally later at higher elevations; always single-brooded.