Re: American Copper Hunt in the Wallowa Mountains

Neil Bjorklund

Ken—Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with American Coppers in California.  That is very helpful info.  What are the elevations of the sites at Sonora Pass and Ellery Lake? And do you know if they are using Oxyria Digyna or Rumex acetosella?






From: <> on behalf of "Kenneth Davenport via" <kdavenport93306@...>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 6:11 PM
To: <>, <>
Subject: Re: [NorWestLeps] American Copper Hunt in the Wallowa Mountains


Best Wishes, Ken Davenport kdavenport93306@... or flutterflies93306@...

Neil: I have never collected American Coppers on Mt. Howard or in Oregon. I have collected about 24 American Coppers at Sonora Pass and up an avalanche slope on the north facing slope of the Dana Plateau in the Sierra Nevada. Some comments: All my records were from about mid-July to September 7 or 8. Yes they live on rocky terrain but not necessarily on talus. Usually they favor areas along small streams or drainages where the hosts grow but they often go to small flats or spaces between boulders which shelter them from winds that are common in their preferred habitats. They are often on steep slopes where terrain is difficult in terms of footing.

While I do find Rockslide Checkerspots (Chlosyne whitneyi) in the Sierra Nevada use talus slopes in drier situations, American Coppers tend to fly when snow is still around a little more than the checkerspots. At Sonora Pass, I get some American Coppers flying with the Rockslide Chckerspots in deep rocky canyons where the host grows. At my other locality above Ellery Lake in the Sierra, Rockslide Checkerspots are scarce.

Usually in my quests for American Coppers, I get zero, one or two, never more sightings than 5 above Ellery Lake. At Sonora Pass if you hit them right, I have taken 6 and 10 in a day in July. Of course, habits and habitats may differ in Oregon.

On Sunday, September 27, 2020, 03:07:15 PM PDT, Neil Bjorklund <nel-de-bearck@...> wrote:



And here’s the missing link to the blog:




On Sep 27, 2020, at 1:28 PM, Neil Bjorklund <nel-de-bearck@...> wrote:

Hello all!  Mike Hansen from Enterprise and I made another search for American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) around the summit of Mt. Howard in Wallowa County a couple weeks back.  We did not find the butterfly or the host plant where Don and Paul Severns found it quite a few years ago.  We timed our search to be slightly earlier in the season than theirs.


You can find more details and many photos in my Blog at: 


May you and yours be safe from fires, smoke and viruses!




Neil Björklund

Eugene, Oregon




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