Status:  uncommon resident

Flights:  1, May-Sep

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  Carmel Valley-Jamesburg Rds., Chalone Pks.

Habitats:  forest edge, chaparral, streamsides, foothill woodlands and canyons

Host plants:  gooseberry and currant

Adult foodnectars at asters, yellow composites, buckwheat, clover; adults sip water and nutrients

Conservationclouded copper (ssp. nubila) imperiled near LA


  1.   erratic flight, faster than other coppers

  2.   May-Jun lower elev., Jul-Aug high elev.

  3.   our ssp is Arota Copper

  4.   thecla spot black, tornal line red

  5.   adult males emerge earlier - larvae grow faster, pupate sooner

  6.   male brown with purplish sheen; female with brown and orange pattern


Tailed Copper   Lycaena arota

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on bare twigs of host plant or on debris under it, hibernate until spring

larva: eats leaves

pupa: ?

adult:  territorial males sit on perches (2-12 ft., often host plant) in open areas, often near watercourses or ravines, awaiting female

perched on dead oak leaf