Copper on Pearly Everlasting

This butterfly was grabbing a snack atop a Pearly Everlasting plant.  According to Northwest Weeds by Ronald J. Taylor, Pearly Everlasting is a native plant that gets its name because flowers cut from this plant will keep their color and shape for a very, very long time.

The butterfly appears to be a Purplish Copper from the orange squiggly line underneath its hind wings.  According to Butterflies of the Pacific Northwest by William Neill, the Purplish Copper is the most widespread copper butterfly in the Pacific Northwest.  See its mouth extended to take a drink?  The butterfly mouth is a hollow tube like a straw.  When not drinking, butterflies keep their mouths coiled up out of plain sight.

How do you attract butterflies to your yard?  Remember, the adults drink flower nectar but the larvae (caterpillars) eat certain types of plants.  Different caterpillars need very specific plants to live and grow on.  Purplish Coppers live on plants called docks and knotweeds.  Granted, many are weeds, but without them we wouldn’t see the butterflies later in the year.

Macro Flowers Saturday badge 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.