On Our Website Home Page: Pollinators




Blue Copper Butterfly:

Lycaena heteronea Boisduval, 1852

Family: Lycaenidae



The upper surface of the male is a bright blue, with darker veins; female a dull blue to dark brown with numerous small dark spots.  The underside of both sexes is white to yellow-white; hindwing varies from having many to few black spots.

Most males patrol near host plants for females, but some perch.  Females lay eggs singly on bracts under host leaves or umbels; eggs hatch the following spring.  Young caterpillars feed on the underside of leaves; older ones eat all parts of the leaf.


Their flight: May ~ August.

Their hosts: wild buckwheat and the adult food is nectar from flowers, including wild buckwheat.

Their habitat: brushy areas, open forest, mountain meadows, sagebrush; mostly at high elevations except for low elevations in central California.

Their range: British Columbia south and east through southcentral California, northern Arizona, and northern New Mexico.


The Blue Copper Butterfly has The Nature Conservancy Global Rank of G5 - though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.  Varied Copper (subspecies clara) of southern California has been evaluated for conservation, and has The Nature Conservancy rank of T2 - Imperiled because of its rarity or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range.



Our Pollinators Are Important!


(Africanized Honeybee)


Pollinators are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world's flowering plants.  Without them, humans and wildlife wouldn't have much to eat or see!  Animals that assist plants in their reproduction as pollinators include species of ants, bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, as well as other unusual animals.  Wind and water also play a role in the pollination of many plants.


Virtually all of the world's seed plants need to be pollinated.  This is just as true for cone-bearing plants, such as pine trees, as for the more colorful and familiar flowering plants.  Pollen looking like insignificant yellow dust, bears a plant's male sex cells and is a vital link in the reproductive cycle.


With adequate pollination, wildfowers:

*Reproduce and produce enough seeds for dispersal and propagation

*Maintain genetic diversity within a population

*Develop adequate fruits to entice seed dispersers


(information: The U.S. Forest Service, Dept. of Agriculture)




How Can You Help Our Pollinators?


  *Choose plants that flower at different times of the year to

    provide nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing


  *Plant in clumps, rather than single plants, to better attract


  *Whenever possible, choose native plants.  Native plants will

    attract more native pollinators and can serve as larval host

    plants for some species of pollinators. 

  *Check field guides to find out which plants the larval stage

    of local butterflies eat.

  *Pollinator friendly plants for your area can be found in NAPPC's

    Ecoregional Planting Guides.  Contact your local or state native

    plant society for help.

  *Avoid using pesticides in your garden.




Stop Ocean Pollution


 Plastic Bottles gathered in one year by one person on

Pt. Reyes National Seashore                               Photo by Susan Osborne


Watch this interesting mockumentary:


Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup tells us

10 Things You Can Do To Stop Marine Debris’.

1. Join Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

2. Clean up your trash. Throw all trash away in proper receptacles, even when you’re not on the water. Pick up any debris you see while out.

3. Collect your monofilament fishing line. Don’t leave fishing line behind and retrieve any other line you may find while fishing, but be careful not to tug on snagged lines, which could be caught on habitat below the surface.

4. Contain and properly clean spills when boating. Use oil-absorbent rags and materials to clean spills. Check Ocean Conservancy’s, "Good Mate" manual for helpful tips on reducing your negative impacts on the water.

5. Recycle used motor oil and oil filters. Local gas stations should have appropriate facilities for recycling these materials. NEVER pour oil, paint, antifreeze or other household chemicals into an open sewer or down a storm drain.

6. Consider organic alternatives to household detergents and cleaners. Use lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda for household cleaning. Avoid using fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemical cleaners that can wash into waterways.

7. Choose reusable items and use fewer disposable ones. Use fewer disposable bags when shopping or bring your own reusable ones.

8. Properly dispose of used batteries and electronics. Use your local recycling center. Don’t dump them in landfills. Electronics leach harmful chemicals into the environment that take a long time to disperse.

9. Keep streets, sidewalks, parking lots and storm drains clear of trash and debris – they empty into our ocean.

10. Contact your elected representatives and let them know you care about marine debris – and that they should, too. Vote for candidates who support marine debris prevention and policies that protect our environment.


General Information on Marine Debris:

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): Marine Debris Program: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/welcome.html


Scripps Oceanography: SEAPLEX (Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition/ Seeking the Science of the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch):  http://seaplexscience.com/ and http://sio.ucsd.edu/Expeditions/Seaplex/


Plastic Pollution/Coastal Care: http://coastalcare.org/2009/11/plastic-pollution


The Marine Mammal Center: www.marinemammalcenter.org (and www.marinemammalcenter.org/patients/success-stories/cujo.html)


Information about the Monterey Bay Sanctuary:

National Marine Sanctuaries and Monterey Bay: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/conidition/mbnms/pressures.html


Plastic Pollution Information from the Monterey Bay Aquarium:



Dangers to Wildlife from Personal Care Products and Pharmaceuticals: http://seagrant.psu.edu./publications/fs/Dose_of_Reality_Publication.pdf


How Long Does it Take for Trash in the Ocean to Decompose? http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/Get-Involved/awareness-campaigns/stop-trashing-our-oceans.html