Lilac-bordered Copper butterfly

Lilac-bordered Copper Tharsalea nivalis

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The Lilac-bordered Copper is a common Mountain butterfly, often found in flowery meadows or above tree line. None the less, I saw my first ones this year, in both Washington and Oregon. It’s quickly becoming a favorite.

Lost Prairie, Linn County, Oregon

44.40371, -122.07576 The prairie is located along Highway 20 in a mountainous section in western Cascade Range. Seen at the edge of the prairie near the tree line. Very dry and hot, but with numerous flowers in bloom.

July 15, 2023

Lilac-bordered Copper on a daisy
a fresh Tharsalea nivalis, with lovely lilac shades
Tharsalea nivalis ventral view with wings slightly opened showing edge of dorsal
the hint of orange just barely visible on the dorsal forewing leads me to think this Lilac-bordered Copper is a female


  • Great variation, with some being very pallid and mostly lacking the Lilac-border, especially east of the Cascades and the NE. May be polymorphic. Watch out for the lighter ones.
  • May to August, peak in July.

See T. nivalis in Washington.


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