Purple-shot copper

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The purple-shot copper (Lycaena alciphron) is a butterfly in the family of the Lycaenidae or copper butterflies and in the genus of theLycaena.

The coloring of the males and the females is very different, i.e. the sexual dimorphism is very strong. The top sides of the wings are red-gold with black spots. The males fluoresce purple, while the females’ top side is brown, also with black spots. The rear wings have submarginal spots.

The caterpillar is nocturnal and eats sorrel. The fully grown butterfly feeds from wild thyme, ground-elder, and blackberry flowers.

The purple-shot copper can be found in Europe, Morocco, and Turkey in heights between 500 and 900 meters.

This butterfly migrates from June to July.

There are three subspecies:

  • Lycaena alciphron melibaeus
  • Lycaena alciphron gordius
  • Lycaena alciphron heracleana 

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