- Drahovzal, Sarah Ann
University of Maine Graduate School
Clayton's copper butterfly (Lycaena dorcas claytoni) is a Maine state endangered species that relies exclusively on shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) as its host plant. This shrub typically is found on the edges of wetlands rich in calcium carbonate or limestone. Calcareous wetland habitats that support large, persistent stands of D. fruticosa are rare in Maine (McCollough et al. 2001). Currently only 21 sites in Maine are known to support large stands of D. fruticosa, and L. d. claytoni populations have been observed at only nine of these. Because nearly the entire global range of this butterfly is in Maine, it is critical that Maine assumes the primary role in the conservation of this rare subspecies.