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Santa Barbara Field Guides - Butterflies

     Lycaena heteronea
     Blue Copper

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: Wingspread 1-1.5 in.
Recognition: Male a shimmering light blue above, with black wing edges and a white fringe; females very pale blue to pale gray above; undersides of both sexes white with varied black markings.
Flight period: Adults active in early to midsummer.
Hostplants: Larvae feed only on buckwheats (Eriogonum - Polygonaceae).
Habitat: Found primarily in arid scrublands.
Distribution: The Blue Copper occurs throughout the Great Basin region, extending west into the mountains of southern California. It has not been definitely recorded from Santa Barbara County, but is known from neighboring Ventura County, and may be found at higher elevations in the Santa Barbara backcountry.
Other: Presence in Santa Barbara County requires confirmation.

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