T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Rauparaha’s copper (Lycaena rauparaha)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Genus: Lycaena
Species: L. rauparaha
Binomial name: Lycaena rauparaha
Synonyms: Chrysophanus rauparaha, 
Common name: Rauparaha’s copper, Mokarakare

Lycaena rauparaha is a species of butterfly with a wingspan of 24- 31mm. It is endemic to New Zealand and is found mainly among coastal dunes around the western and northern coast of the North Island and in the northern coastal areas of South Island. They are also are found in other habitats where their food plant Muehlenbeckia species are growing.
A female butterfly lays a single egg on the underside of a leaf.
The velvety green larva has the usual lateral lappets and dorsal ridges found in Lycaena caterpillars. The caterpillars pupate on the ground amongst dry leaf litter. The pupa is greenish yellow with reddish brown wing cases.
The butterflies fly close to the ground with a rapid jerky flight.



Photographed February at the top of the Christchurch Gondola.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/