The American Copper is a small butterfly with orange and brown wings. The upperside of the forewings are orange with black spots and dark margins. The hindwing is gray-brown with an orange band along the outer margin that contains a row of black spots. The female is similar but usually larger and her spots are larger in the forewing. The underside is light grey with small black spots and a red-orange line in the outer hindwing.


American Copper Butterfly” by David Marvin, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


American Copper Facts

Butterfly Family: Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Lycaeninae

Butterfly Wingspan: 7/8 – 1 3/8 inches

Butterfly Habitat: disturbed places in the East including pastures, landfills, vacant lots, road edges, old fields, rocky places in alpine habitats, and tundra in the arctic.


American Copper Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Plants in the Polygonaceae Family
    • Sheep Sorrel
    • Curled Dock

Nectar Plants:

  • Nectar from various flowers
    • Buttercup
    • White Clover
    • Butterfly Weed
    • Yarrow
    • Ox-eye Daisy
    • Dandelon
    • Queen Anne’s Lace