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It spends most of its life as an egg attached to the underside of a cranberry leaf in a single spruce bog. But during its week-or-so fling as a tiny adult, the Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe), about the size of your pinky’s fingernail, floats among the leatherleaf and glowing magenta orchids. It has the unusual distinction of eating cranberry leaves as a caterpillar and nectaring on cranberry flowers as an adult. Rarely do butterflies eat and nectar from the same plant. Bog Coppers aren’t as choosy about mating sites, however. This pair was making more Bog Coppers on a leatherleaf in northern Ontario on July 8, 2012. Here in Vermont, with frosts on the way, I’m already wistful for butterflies.

  1. mark rahill says:

    Fantastic Bryan…. didn’t know about Vaccinium host/larvae assoc.

  2. Sue Cloutier says:

    A wonderful image. In early Spring I caught a pair doing it here in MA. I had to get down on hands and knees as mine were down low in the bog. When thus occupied, they let me get close enough to catch them in my photo and now the are on the The Butterflies of Massachusetts ( website by Sharon Stichter. Your shot and mine may show some difference in males and females. What do you think?

  3. Judy Brook says:

    Spectacular photograph…especially the four antennae showing every segment. Thank you, Bryan.

  4. Dick Harlow says:

    Great shot Bryan, crystal!! Very nice composition, you must have been sitting in the bog for that shot!!

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