Basic Information
Common Name: Hermes Copper
Scientific Name: Lycaena hermes
Species Code: LYCHER
Management Category: SL (species at risk of loss)
Occurrence Map
Table of Occurrences
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Species Information

MSP Species Background

Goals and Objectives

Goal: Protect, enhance, and restore Hermes copper occupied habitat and historically occupied habitat and the landscape connections between them to create resilient, self-sustaining populations that provide for persistence over the long-term (>100 years).

regional POST 2017, 2018, 2019 SL
MON-SURV-SPEC LYCHER-1

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2017-2019, continue surveys for adult Hermes copper (see occurrence table) and habitat assessments begun in 2016 to document the butterfly's current distribution and abundance and to assess habitat and threats at survey sites. Prepare site-specific management recommendations based on survey results and habitat assessments.

Action Statement Action status Projects
SURV-1 Search for adult Hermes copper butterflies and host plants (spiny redbery) at known occupied habitat, historically occupied habitat, habitat recovering from wildfire, and suitable habitat with potential to support the butterfly to determine the extent of the range, population sizes, and to better understand habitat relationships. Use a standardized protocol to collect habitat and threats covariate data at each site for developing and prioritizing management actions. in progress
SURV-2 Submit project metadata, datasets, analyses and report with management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal. in progress
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Surveys and Reports Completed in 2017 and 2018 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Climate changeCLICHN
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-3 MON-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-9 MON-PRP-MONPL In 2018, develop a monitoring plan to track long term distribution, abundance, and phenology, and to assess habitats and threats at Hermes copper occurrences (see Table of Occurrences), historically occupied and unoccupied high suitability sites across Conserved Lands in the MSPA. The monitoring plan should build upon previous surveys, habitat assessments and modeling to develop specific questions, monitoring methods, a statistically valid sampling design, sampling locations, and standardized protocols for determining the status and abundance of the butterfly and for assessing habitat and threats at each sampling site to determine management needs. The plan should stipulate that for each survey year, a report be prepared with site-specific management recommendations.
regional POST 2017, 2018, 2019 SL
MGT-IMP-TRAN LYCHER-2

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

From 2017 to 2019, continue Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 to test the effectiveness of releasing eggs and larvae to repopulate the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences) where the original population was extirpated by fire.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Continue releasing Hermes copper eggs at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area where the butterfly was extirpated in 2017, to see if translocation success can be improved under normal rainfall conditions. Nine of 14 larvae emerged in 2015 from translocated eggs and 1 adult was observed in 2016, despite the prolonged and intense drought. In progress
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Translocation Experiments Completed in 2019 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-1 MON-SURV-SPEC In 2017-2019, continue surveys for adult Hermes copper (see occurrence table) and habitat assessments begun in 2016 to document the butterfly's current distribution and abundance and to assess habitat and threats at survey sites. Prepare site-specific management recommendations based on survey results and habitat assessments.
LYCHER-3 MON-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.
LYCHER-4 MGT-DEV-BMP In 2017, continue development of BMPs begun in 2013 for captive rearing Hermes Copper at the San Diego Zoo. Attempt to determine optimal conditions for rearing Hermes copper in captivity to provide a source of butterflies for translocations to re-establish populations at sites where the butterfly has been extirpated or to establish new populations in suitable habitat.
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-13 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.
regional POST 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 SL
MON-IMP-TRAN LYCHER-3

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, monitoring datasets, analyses and report with management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal. In progress
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Translocation Monitoring and Reports Completed Annually 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-2 MGT-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2019, continue Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 to test the effectiveness of releasing eggs and larvae to repopulate the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences) where the original population was extirpated by fire.
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-13 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.
regional NFO 2017 SL
MGT-DEV-BMP LYCHER-4

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2017, continue development of BMPs begun in 2013 for captive rearing Hermes Copper at the San Diego Zoo. Attempt to determine optimal conditions for rearing Hermes copper in captivity to provide a source of butterflies for translocations to re-establish populations at sites where the butterfly has been extirpated or to establish new populations in suitable habitat.

Action Statement Action status Projects
DEV-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, and report with management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal. on hold
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Captive Rearing Experiments and Report Completed by 2018 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-2 MGT-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2019, continue Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 to test the effectiveness of releasing eggs and larvae to repopulate the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences) where the original population was extirpated by fire.
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-13 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.
regional PRE 2017 SL
MON-DEV-MODL LYCHER-5

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2017, develop habitat suitability models for Hermes copper and the host plant (spiny redberry), and the primary nectaring plant (California buckwheat) under current and future climate change scenarios, and conduct fire risk modeling with different management scenarios to identify potential climate and fire refugia. The results of this modeling will be used to inform development of monitoring and management plans for this butterfly.

Action Statement Action status Projects
DEV-1 Submit project metadata, modeling datasets, results and report to the MSP Web Portal. In progress
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Current and Future Climate Habitat Models and Report Completed in 2017 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Climate changeCLICHN
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-9 MON-PRP-MONPL In 2018, develop a monitoring plan to track long term distribution, abundance, and phenology, and to assess habitats and threats at Hermes copper occurrences (see Table of Occurrences), historically occupied and unoccupied high suitability sites across Conserved Lands in the MSPA. The monitoring plan should build upon previous surveys, habitat assessments and modeling to develop specific questions, monitoring methods, a statistically valid sampling design, sampling locations, and standardized protocols for determining the status and abundance of the butterfly and for assessing habitat and threats at each sampling site to determine management needs. The plan should stipulate that for each survey year, a report be prepared with site-specific management recommendations.
regional PRE 2017 SL
MGT-PRP-MGTPL LYCHER-6

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.

Action Statement Action status Projects
PRP-1 Work with the Butterfly Working Group consisting of species experts, scientists, wildlife agencies, land managers and other stakeholders to develop prioritized management actions. completed
PRP-2 Include fire risk and climate change modeling results to provide management recommendations in relation to fire and climate refugia and to reduce fire risk at occurrences. completed
PRP-3 Submit project metadata and Herme's Copper Management Plant to the MSP Web Portal. completed
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Management Plan Completed in 2017 2021
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-1 MON-SURV-SPEC In 2017-2019, continue surveys for adult Hermes copper (see occurrence table) and habitat assessments begun in 2016 to document the butterfly's current distribution and abundance and to assess habitat and threats at survey sites. Prepare site-specific management recommendations based on survey results and habitat assessments.
LYCHER-3 MON-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.
LYCHER-4 MGT-DEV-BMP In 2017, continue development of BMPs begun in 2013 for captive rearing Hermes Copper at the San Diego Zoo. Attempt to determine optimal conditions for rearing Hermes copper in captivity to provide a source of butterflies for translocations to re-establish populations at sites where the butterfly has been extirpated or to establish new populations in suitable habitat.
LYCHER-5 MON-DEV-MODL In 2017, develop habitat suitability models for Hermes copper and the host plant (spiny redberry), and the primary nectaring plant (California buckwheat) under current and future climate change scenarios, and conduct fire risk modeling with different management scenarios to identify potential climate and fire refugia. The results of this modeling will be used to inform development of monitoring and management plans for this butterfly.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-13 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.
regional PRE 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 SL
MGT-IMP-MGTPL LYCHER-7

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, management datasets, and report to the MSP Web Portal. available for implementation
Criteria Deadline year
By 2021, =1 High Priority Management Action Implemented from the Hermes Copper Management Plan 2021
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-2 MGT-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2019, continue Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 to test the effectiveness of releasing eggs and larvae to repopulate the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences) where the original population was extirpated by fire.
LYCHER-3 MON-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-8 MON-IMP-MGTPL Beginning in 2018, monitor effectiveness of implementation of highest priority management actions identified in the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-13 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.
regional PRE 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 SL
MON-IMP-MGTPL LYCHER-8

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

Beginning in 2018, monitor effectiveness of implementation of highest priority management actions identified in the Hermes Copper Management Plan.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit metadata, management effectiveness datasets, analyses, and report to the MSP Web Portal. waiting for precedent action
Criteria Deadline year
Effectiveness of High Priority Management Actions Determined and Report Completed 2021
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-9 MON-PRP-MONPL In 2018, develop a monitoring plan to track long term distribution, abundance, and phenology, and to assess habitats and threats at Hermes copper occurrences (see Table of Occurrences), historically occupied and unoccupied high suitability sites across Conserved Lands in the MSPA. The monitoring plan should build upon previous surveys, habitat assessments and modeling to develop specific questions, monitoring methods, a statistically valid sampling design, sampling locations, and standardized protocols for determining the status and abundance of the butterfly and for assessing habitat and threats at each sampling site to determine management needs. The plan should stipulate that for each survey year, a report be prepared with site-specific management recommendations.
LYCHER-10 MON-IMP-MONPL In 2020, begin implementing long term Hermes copper monitoring as specified in the Hermes Copper Monitoring Plan. Prepare a report detailing butterfly and habitat assessment results and with site specific management recommendations.
LYCHER-12 MON-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a wildfire, use a standardized survey protocol to determine the status of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by fire. Use a standardized postfire protocol to collect vegetation and other covariates important in characterizing Hermes copper habitat recovery following a fire. Postfire monitoring should include collecting habitat recovery data at unoccupied sites that are important for enhancing connectivity or for future population expansion. Identify and prioritize management actions to recover Hermes copper populations and important habitat patches.
regional NFO 2018 SL
MON-PRP-MONPL LYCHER-9

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2018, develop a monitoring plan to track long term distribution, abundance, and phenology, and to assess habitats and threats at Hermes copper occurrences (see Table of Occurrences), historically occupied and unoccupied high suitability sites across Conserved Lands in the MSPA. The monitoring plan should build upon previous surveys, habitat assessments and modeling to develop specific questions, monitoring methods, a statistically valid sampling design, sampling locations, and standardized protocols for determining the status and abundance of the butterfly and for assessing habitat and threats at each sampling site to determine management needs. The plan should stipulate that for each survey year, a report be prepared with site-specific management recommendations.

Action Statement Action status Projects
PRP-1 Incorporate previously tested survey methods into development of a Hermes copper monitoring protocol and habitat assessment.The sampling frame should include the current and historic range of the butterfly on Conserved Lands and any unoccupied suitable habitat modeled as climate or fire refugia. Include a subset of sites in north and south San Diego County classified as sentinel sites and monitored every survey year to characterize the conditions and phenology for the butterfly in that year. The remainder of sites should be included in a rotating panel to be surveyed in alternative years. waiting for precedent action
PRP-2 Submit project metadata and Hermes Copper Monitoring Plan to the MSP Web Portal. waiting for precedent action
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Monitoring Plan Completed in 2018 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Climate changeCLICHN
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-1 MON-SURV-SPEC In 2017-2019, continue surveys for adult Hermes copper (see occurrence table) and habitat assessments begun in 2016 to document the butterfly's current distribution and abundance and to assess habitat and threats at survey sites. Prepare site-specific management recommendations based on survey results and habitat assessments.
LYCHER-3 MON-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.
LYCHER-5 MON-DEV-MODL In 2017, develop habitat suitability models for Hermes copper and the host plant (spiny redberry), and the primary nectaring plant (California buckwheat) under current and future climate change scenarios, and conduct fire risk modeling with different management scenarios to identify potential climate and fire refugia. The results of this modeling will be used to inform development of monitoring and management plans for this butterfly.
LYCHER-8 MON-IMP-MGTPL Beginning in 2018, monitor effectiveness of implementation of highest priority management actions identified in the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-10 MON-IMP-MONPL In 2020, begin implementing long term Hermes copper monitoring as specified in the Hermes Copper Monitoring Plan. Prepare a report detailing butterfly and habitat assessment results and with site specific management recommendations.
LYCHER-12 MON-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a wildfire, use a standardized survey protocol to determine the status of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by fire. Use a standardized postfire protocol to collect vegetation and other covariates important in characterizing Hermes copper habitat recovery following a fire. Postfire monitoring should include collecting habitat recovery data at unoccupied sites that are important for enhancing connectivity or for future population expansion. Identify and prioritize management actions to recover Hermes copper populations and important habitat patches.
regional NFO 2020, 2021 SL
MON-IMP-MONPL LYCHER-10

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

In 2020, begin implementing long term Hermes copper monitoring as specified in the Hermes Copper Monitoring Plan. Prepare a report detailing butterfly and habitat assessment results and with site specific management recommendations.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, datasets, analyses and monitoring report with management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal. waiting for precedent action
Criteria Deadline year
Hermes Copper Monitoring and Report Completed Each Survey Year 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Climate changeCLICHN
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-9 MON-PRP-MONPL In 2018, develop a monitoring plan to track long term distribution, abundance, and phenology, and to assess habitats and threats at Hermes copper occurrences (see Table of Occurrences), historically occupied and unoccupied high suitability sites across Conserved Lands in the MSPA. The monitoring plan should build upon previous surveys, habitat assessments and modeling to develop specific questions, monitoring methods, a statistically valid sampling design, sampling locations, and standardized protocols for determining the status and abundance of the butterfly and for assessing habitat and threats at each sampling site to determine management needs. The plan should stipulate that for each survey year, a report be prepared with site-specific management recommendations.
LYCHER-12 MON-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a wildfire, use a standardized survey protocol to determine the status of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by fire. Use a standardized postfire protocol to collect vegetation and other covariates important in characterizing Hermes copper habitat recovery following a fire. Postfire monitoring should include collecting habitat recovery data at unoccupied sites that are important for enhancing connectivity or for future population expansion. Identify and prioritize management actions to recover Hermes copper populations and important habitat patches.
regional PRE 2019, 2020, 2021 SL
MGT-IMP-IGNPL LYCHER-11

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

Beginning in 2019, implement high priority MSP 2018 Wildfire Ignition Reduction Plan measures for Hermes copper to reduce the probability of ignition at most at-risk occurrences.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, management datasets, and report to the MSP Web Portal. waiting for precedent action
Criteria Deadline year
By 2023, =2 High Priority Management Action Implemented for Hermes Copper from the MSP 2018 Wildfire Ignition Reduction Plan 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-5 MON-DEV-MODL In 2017, develop habitat suitability models for Hermes copper and the host plant (spiny redberry), and the primary nectaring plant (California buckwheat) under current and future climate change scenarios, and conduct fire risk modeling with different management scenarios to identify potential climate and fire refugia. The results of this modeling will be used to inform development of monitoring and management plans for this butterfly.
regional POST 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 SL
MON-IMP-FMGT LYCHER-12

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

For at least the first 3 years following a wildfire, use a standardized survey protocol to determine the status of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by fire. Use a standardized postfire protocol to collect vegetation and other covariates important in characterizing Hermes copper habitat recovery following a fire. Postfire monitoring should include collecting habitat recovery data at unoccupied sites that are important for enhancing connectivity or for future population expansion. Identify and prioritize management actions to recover Hermes copper populations and important habitat patches.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Prepare and implement a postfire habitat monitoring protocol and sampling design to determine the status of Hermes copper and characterize coastal sage scrub, host plant (spiny redberry), and nectar plant (California buckwheat) recovery following wildfire. Use the monitoring results to identify management actions to facilitate postfire recovery of high quality habitat at occupied sites and at unoccupied sites important for Hermes copper population expansion and connectivity between occurrences. On hold
IMP-2 Submit project metadata, Hermes copper postfire survey and habitat monitoring data, annual reports with management recommendations, and a final report documenting project methods and results to the MSP Web Portal. On hold
Criteria Deadline year
At Least 3 Years of Postfire Monitoring of Hermes Copper and Habitats with Annual Management Recommendations 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-8 MON-IMP-MGTPL Beginning in 2018, monitor effectiveness of implementation of highest priority management actions identified in the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-9 MON-PRP-MONPL In 2018, develop a monitoring plan to track long term distribution, abundance, and phenology, and to assess habitats and threats at Hermes copper occurrences (see Table of Occurrences), historically occupied and unoccupied high suitability sites across Conserved Lands in the MSPA. The monitoring plan should build upon previous surveys, habitat assessments and modeling to develop specific questions, monitoring methods, a statistically valid sampling design, sampling locations, and standardized protocols for determining the status and abundance of the butterfly and for assessing habitat and threats at each sampling site to determine management needs. The plan should stipulate that for each survey year, a report be prepared with site-specific management recommendations.
LYCHER-10 MON-IMP-MONPL In 2020, begin implementing long term Hermes copper monitoring as specified in the Hermes Copper Monitoring Plan. Prepare a report detailing butterfly and habitat assessment results and with site specific management recommendations.
LYCHER-13 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.
regional POST 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 SL
MGT-IMP-FMGT LYCHER-13

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

For at least the first 3 years following a fire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality habitat to allow for recovery of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by wildfire.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Implement management actions to restore coastal sage scrub, host plants (spiny redberry) and nectaring plants (California buckwheat) at Hermes copper habitats destroyed by wildfire. These management actions may include planting host plants, nectaring plants, and controlling invasive plants to to =20% absolute cover to reduce postfire invasion of nonnative plants and to allow postfire recovery of native plants by reducing competition for water and light. Control erosion and human use impacts while habitat is recoverying. On hold
IMP-2 Submit project metadata and management actions to the MSP Web Portal. On hold
Criteria Deadline year
At Least 3 Years of Postfire Management in Hermes Copper Habitats 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered fire regimeALTFIR
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Code Obj. code Statement
LYCHER-2 MGT-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2019, continue Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 to test the effectiveness of releasing eggs and larvae to repopulate the Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences) where the original population was extirpated by fire.
LYCHER-3 MON-IMP-TRAN From 2017 to 2021, continue monitoring the effectiveness of Hermes Copper translocation experiments begun in 2014 at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area (see Table of Occurrences). Extend the monitoring for 2 years after the last egg is translocated to determine whether a population has been established.
LYCHER-4 MGT-DEV-BMP In 2017, continue development of BMPs begun in 2013 for captive rearing Hermes Copper at the San Diego Zoo. Attempt to determine optimal conditions for rearing Hermes copper in captivity to provide a source of butterflies for translocations to re-establish populations at sites where the butterfly has been extirpated or to establish new populations in suitable habitat.
LYCHER-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2017, complete a 5 year Hermes Copper Management Plan that includes the results from butterfly surveys and habitat assessments and genetic, marking and translocation studies to develop a management strategy and to identify and prioritize site specific management actions. The plan should employ the modeling results to identify potential fire and climate refugia that may be suitable sites for future translocations and provide specific recommendations for reducing fire risk at occurrences at highest risk.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-7 MGT-IMP-MGTPL In 2018, begin implementing high priority management actions from the Hermes Copper Management Plan.
LYCHER-12 MON-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a wildfire, use a standardized survey protocol to determine the status of Hermes copper occurrences impacted by fire. Use a standardized postfire protocol to collect vegetation and other covariates important in characterizing Hermes copper habitat recovery following a fire. Postfire monitoring should include collecting habitat recovery data at unoccupied sites that are important for enhancing connectivity or for future population expansion. Identify and prioritize management actions to recover Hermes copper populations and important habitat patches.

Significant Concern

Overall Condition

Declining

Overall Trend

High

Overall Confidence
Metric Condition Trend Confidence
1. Occupied Sites

Number of sites with Hermes copper detections


Significant Concern

Declining

High
2. Population Status

Number of sentinel sites with at least 50 individuals detected


Significant Concern

Declining

High
Current Status
The current overall condition status of the Hermes Copper Species Indicator is Significant Concern based on consideration of the two metrics selected. In 2020, Hermes copper populations had disappeared from all but three sites occupied in 2010 (Metric 1) and the remaining populations dwindled to small numbers (Metric 2). Additional metrics will be developed in the future as more information becomes available.
Metrics Dashboard
Full metric information for this species is available on our Dashboard.
Metrics Dashboard
Hermes Copper Adult Surveys
In 2016, researchers conducted butterfly surveys and habitat assessments at small northern populations and at southern sites. They did not detect Hermes copper adults at any of the eight northern sites, although this was consistent with other (larger) sites in the county due to continuing drought conditions. They did detect Hermes copper at some of the southern sites. Habitat assessments resulted in the mapping of 65 spiny redberry patches and 11 single redberry shrubs across the 8 sites. Up to 90 redberry shrubs were recorded in a single patch, but more patches were represented by a relatively low number of shrubs, and most of the redberry patches had at least 60% shrub cover. Additional insight may be gained from a more formal comparison to the habitat measured at Hermes copper sites in southern San Diego County. Monitoring for Hermes copper has continued at a subset of the sites in since 2016. The species has been greatly affected by the drought. This contract is funded by a combination of SANDAG (5004388 and 5005783) and USFWS (Contract: F17AC00963) contracts.
Hermes Copper Implementation Habitat Conservation and Management Plan
This plan identifies and prioritizes management and restoration needs over the next five years (2017-2021) for the Hermes copper across the entire United States range. It is intended that implementation of high priority management actions in this plan will help to achieve the MSP Roadmap goal for Hermes copper to: “protect, enhance, and restore Hermes copper occupied habitat and historically occupied habitat and the landscape connections between them to create resilient, self-sustaining populations that provide for persistence over the long term (>100 years)”.
Hermes Copper Larval Captive Rearing
Captive rearing is a potential management tool for fire risk reduction and to improve connectivity (augment natural populations). However, Hermes copper larvae are extremely difficult to rear in captivity, and no one has successfully reared a Hermes copper from egg to adult. Rearing efforts in 2013 provided important information in terms of foraging requirements for early instar larvae, however, breaking winter diapause remained a challenge. Researchers conducted an additional year of captive rearing, a first year with a sophisticated rearing chamber at the San Diego Zoo which can control temperature and humidity. Eggs were obtained in May-June 2016 for rearing activities in the spring of 2017. This project attempted to rear eggs to determine the optimal conditions for rearing Hermes copper in captivity and establish protocols. This is one critical barrier to several management approaches that are available for other butterfly species, which can be reared in captivity for study or for reintroduction projects.
Hermes Copper Management Studies on Conserved Lands in San Diego County
This study builds on the previous 2-year study on Hermes Copper. In 2012 the project shifted to resolving critical uncertainties about the species biology, while also evaluating population size trends at several large. The focus for 2014-2015 remained on resolving these uncertainties, primarily regarding immature stages.
Proctor Valley Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Barrier
Installation of the original Proctor Valley off-road barrier segments began in the southwest section of the valley in 2009 on City of San Diego, Public Utilities property and was partially funded by a Land Management Grant (#5001137). Subsequent project proposals submitted to SANDAG EMP, as well as other funding sources, resulted in additional OHV barrier sections installed on CDFW property (2010-2011; #5001327), followed in 2014, via a submission by Chaparral Lands Conservancy (and partners) for a project intended to complete the barrier along the remaining open space stretches of Proctor Valley Road (LMG #5001971). This last section included privately owned lands and CDFW's RJER Proctor Valley East unit. The section of barrier fence included in this project was originally planned for installation in 2014, as part of the EMP funded Proctor Valley Vehicle Barriers Project (Chaparral Lands Conservancy). However, that project ran out of funds following unexpected steep increases in the price of steel. Implementation of the CDFW project (#5004941) is consistent with the implementation of the Fire and Wildlife Action Plan (FWA) assigned to golden eagle, Quino checkerspot butterfly and Hermes copper butterfly via the limitation of access to OHV activities, thus reducing wildfire risk (and preventing other impacts) to their habitats. This project will also maintain large (>300 acres) open areas within golden eagle territories to meet foraging habitat conditions preferred by eagles. This project was intended to reduce/prevent wildfires and other impacts from unauthorized activities on conserved lands in Proctor Valley. There is an urgent need to control access and prevent impacts before such pressures lead to increased unauthorized access. With the installation of the new OHV barrier section, CDFW staff can focus limited resources on management actions necessary to prevent unauthorized vehicle intrusion from adjacent private lands, now that direct access from Proctor Valley Road has been eliminated.
Rare Butterfly Management Studies- Transloaction 2016
Our research has documented several extirpations due to the 2003 and 2007 wildfires, but few recolonizations despite what appears to be suitable habitat. Although a few small populations exist within and north of the city of San Diego, the majority of Hermes copper individuals are found to the east and southeast of the city between the footprints of 2003 and 2007 fires. Due to the extremely restricted distribution, the species is highly vulnerable since one large fire could push the species to the brink of extinction. Recolonization into post-wildfire habitats is essential for the long-term persistence of Hermes copper; however, it appears that habitat fragmentation is limiting dispersal and preventing recolonizations from occurring. For these reasons, we initiated a project to evaluate translocation as a management tool for establishing self-sustaining Hermes copper populations. If successful, this could be a potential management tool to mitigate the impacts of wildfire. We translocated Hermes copper from larger populations to an area that was occupied by Hermes copper prior to a recent (2007) wildfire. In addition, key members of the vegetation community, including spiny redberry and California buckwheat shrubs were still present after the fire. The success of translocation of adults and eggs was assessed separately.
SR 94 Wildlife Infrastructure Plan
Proposed road improvements to SR 94 provide an opportunity to mitigate the potential barrier effects of the highway. This project identifies where improvements to existing infrastructure on SR-94 could improve connectivity across the South County preserves, using Best Management Practices from the scientific literature; recommends wildlife movement monitoring to identify where new crossings are needed; and identifies where additional conservation would enhance the integrity of South County linkages. The review prioritizes infrastructure improvements of 35 existing undercrossings inspected by wildlife experts in the field along 14.6 miles of SR-94 where the highway bisects conserved lands. The majority of the recommendations for infrastructure improvement focus on increasing the diameter, and thus the openness ratio (cross-sectional area divided by length), of the undercrossing itself, removing vegetation and debris blocking the undercrossing, restoring habitat in the approach to the undercrossing, and installing fencing to both (1) keep animals off the highway and (2) funnel wildlife to the undercrossings.
Two-Year Evaluation of Hermes Copper (Lycaena hermes)
This project was conducted to address the growing concerns about the status of Hermes copper and minimize the risk that Hermes copper will become extinct. The objectives were: (1) improve our basic understanding of population status and trend; (2) describe natural and anthropogenic threats to the species; (3) evaluate potential management options to ameliorate threats and/or to increase the size and range of viable populations. Year 1 included: GIS analysis, landscape genetics, vegetation survey, hermes copper field survey, and data analysis. Year 2 included: field surveys, landscape genetics, and data analysis and synthesis.
File name Lead Author Year Type
Baseline Biodiversity Survey for the Escondido Creek Preserve 2011 report
Baseline Biodiversity Survey for the Pascoe, Helix-Lambron and Cielo Azul Parcel Additions to the Del Dios Highlands Preserve 2011 report
BASELINE BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES EVALUATION LAKESIDE LINKAGE OPEN SPACE PRESERVE 2008 report
FINAL Baseline Biodiversity Survey for the San Luis Rey River Park 2011 report
Habitat Management and Monitoring Plan for the Crestridge Ecological Reserve- 2002 2002 report
Hermes copper & Harbison's dun skipper" Where we are and where we are going? Marschalek, Dan 2020 powerpoint presentation
Hermes Copper Butterfly Surveys and Translocation Efforts - Task 6: 2021 Hermes Copper Adult Surveys Task 7: Hermes Copper Translocation Marschalek, Dan 2021 report
Hermes Copper Butterfly Surveys and Translocation Efforts Task 7: Hermes Copper Translocations Task 9: 2022 Hermes Copper Adult Surveys Marschalek, Dan 2022 report
Hermes Copper Butterfly Surveys and Translocation Efforts: Task 4: 2020 Hermes Copper Adult Surveys Marschalek, Dan 2020 report
Hermes Copper Butterfly Translocation, Reintroduction, and Surveys Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2018 report
Hermes Copper Surveys: 2019 Flight Season Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2019 report
Impact of non-lethal genetic sampling on the survival, longevity and behaviour of the Hermes copper (Lycaena hermes) butterfly Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2013 report
Initial Evaluation of the Status of Hermes copper (Lycaena hermes) On Conserved Lands in San Diego County Deutschman, Douglas; Berres, Mark; Marschalek, Dan; Strahm, Spring 2010 report
Marschalek and Deutschman 2017 Hermes Copper Habitat Conservation and Management Plan Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2017 report
Proctor Valley OHV Barrier Project (2017) Final Report 2018 report
Rare Butterfly Management and Conservation Planning Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2016 report
Rare Butterfly Management and Conservation Planning Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2016 report
Rare Butterfly Management and Conservation Planning, Task 2: Hermes Copper Adult Surveys at North County Sites Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2016 report
Rare Butterfly Management and Conservation Planning, Task 3: Hermes Copper Adult Surveys at South County Sites Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2016 report
Rare Butterfly Management Studies on Conserved Lands in San Diego County: Hermes Copper (Lycaena hermes) 2015 report
RARE BUTTERFLY MANAGEMENT STUDIES ON CONSERVED LANDS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: HERMES COPPER (LYCAENA HERMES) Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2016 report
Rare Butterfly Management Studies on Conserved Lands in San Diego County: Hermes copper (Lycaena hermes) Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2014 report
Rare Butterfly Management Studies on Conserved Lands in San Diego County: Hermes Copper (Lycaena hermes) Translocation Final Report Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2016 report
Rare Butterfly Monitoring and Translocation Marschalek, Dan; Deutschman, Douglas 2018 report
Recording - August 2020 SDMMP Management and Monitoring Coordination Meeting 2020 other
Recording - August 2020 SDMMP Management and Monitoring Coordination Meeting Marschalek, Dan; Strahm, Spring 2020 recording
Recording - August 2021 SDMMP Management and Monitoring Coordination Meeting Marschalek, Dan; Markman, Bruce 2021 recording
Recording - July SDMMP Management and Monitoring Coordination Meeting Marschalek, Dan; Scully, Pete 2023 recording
San Diego Insect Conservation Update: Hermes Copper, Harbison's Dun Skipper, Pollinators Marschalek, Dan 2021 powerpoint presentation
SDSU awarded $200,000 to Study Butterflies Robbins, Gary website article
South San Diego County Community Outreach 3 Quarterly Progress Report for Reporting Period: July 1-September 30, 2016 SANDAG Contract Number: 5004737 2016 report
State of the Regional Preserve System in Western San Diego County Preston, Kris; Perkins, Emily; Brown, Chris; McCutcheon, Sarah; Bernabe, Annabelle; Luciani, Emilie; Kus, Barbara; Wynn, Susan 2022 report
Two-year Evaluation of Hermes Copper (Lycaena hermes) on Conserved Lands in San Diego County Deutschman, Douglas; Berres, Mark; Marschalek, Dan; Strahm, Spring 2011 report

Current Distribution Rangewide

Endemic to small region in southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico [1]. A few known populations exist in and around suburban areas in San Diego. Of 54 U.S. locations dating back as far as the early 1900’s, 17 were considered extant, 8 were of unknown status, and the remainder were considered extirpated [2]. Thorne (1963) described the range as extending 50 miles north of the Mexican border almost to Fallbrook and south of the border almost one hundred miles (to a point 18 miles south of Santo Tomas, Baja). In San Diego County, Thorne (1963) reported as ranging inland to Pine Valley, about forty miles from the Pacific Ocean [3].

Known Populations in San Diego County

Within the MSPA, Hermes copper is found in MUs 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11 [4].

List Status

A federal Candidate for Listing

Habitat Affinities

Occurs in coastal sage scrub and southern mixed chaparral [1]. Dependent on its larval host plant, spiny redberry (Rhamnus crocea); adults always found close to patches of spiny redberry (see references in [1]). Within suitable habitat (i.e., contained spiny redberry patches), California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) was the strongest predictor of butterfly presence; considered dependent on this plant species [1]. Densities were much higher on edge transects (along road edges) compared to interior transects through native vegetation.

Taxonomy and Genetics

Most taxonomists consider Hermes to be a member of the Holarctic genus Lycaena;although prior designations have also included the genera Tharsalea and Hermelycaena [5,6]. Allozyme evidence suggested that L. hermes could belong to a separate genus or subgenus [7]. Population genetic analysis found support for the presence of multiple populations within San Diego County, with evidence of some distance dispersal and subsequent recruitment into breeding populations [8] .

Seasonal Activity

Univoltine (produces one brood per season); found as adults mid-May to mid-July; flight season ~ 30 days (references in [1]). Adults typically rested on buckwheat inflorescences (open or closed) or spiny redberry leaves with daily activity strongly influenced by ambient temperature. Activity was typically low early in the morning and increased as temperatures rose into the 20s (degrees Celsius); there also appeared to be an upper temperature threshold for activity.

Life History/Reproduction

Females oviposit eggs singly on stems of spiny redberry; eggs overwinter until larvae emerge in spring [1]. Larvae mature in ~14 days and emerge 10–14 days later (references in [1]). Field observations of larvae range March 16 to May 24.

Diet and Foraging

During a study for two field seasons, adults observed using California buckwheat almost exclusively as a nectar source (one individual nectared on black mustard [Brassica nigra]; [1]]. Adults reported to also obtain nectar from chamise (Adenostema fasciculatum), slender sunflower (Helianthus gracilentus), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), and short-podded mustard (Hirshfeldia incana; references in [2].

Dispersal

Reported as typically undertaking short movements, majority of which tend to be well below 50 meters and rarely exceed 100 meters (references in [8]). However, genetic analysis suggests that long-distance movements occur, with landscape features likely enhancing or restricting dispersal.

Threats

Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation from urbanization, with much of previously occupied area now urbanized [5]. Despite loss of this species’ habitat to development, “restrictions are in place to limit development and the corresponding destruction and modification of Hermes copper butterfly habitat in the future.” [2]. USFWS [2] identified “the combined impacts of existing development, limited future small-scale development, existing dispersal barriers, and megafires could further fragment Hermes copper butterfly habitat and threaten the species.” Wildfires in 2003 and 2007 led to the extirpation of many populations [9].

Literature Sources

[1] Marschalek, D.A. and D.H. Deutschman 2008. Hermes copper (Lycaena [Hermelycaena] hermes: Lycaenidae): life history and population estimation of a rare butterfly. Journal of Insect Conservation 12:97–105.

[2] USFWS. 2011. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition to List Hermes Copper Butterfly as Endangered or Threatened. Department of the Interior. Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17. April 14, 2011. Vol. 76, No. 72. Pp. 20918-20939.

[3] Thorne, F. 1963. The distribution of an endemic butterfly Lycaena hermes. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 2 (2) :1 43-150.

[4] MSP-MOM. 2016. Management Strategic Plan Master Occurrence Matrix. http://sdmmp.com/reports_and_products/Reports_Products_MainPage.aspx

[5] Faulkner, D.K. and J.W. Brown. 1993. The Hermes copper, Lycaena hermes (Edwards), pp. 120-121 In Conservation biology of Lycaenidae (butterflies). International Union for Conservation of Nature, T.R. New (ed.), Gland, Switzerland. 173 pp. Available for download at; https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/documents/ssc-op-008.pdf

[6] Miller, L.D. and F.M. Brown. 1979. Studies in the Lycaeninae (Lycaenidae) the higher classification of theAmerican coppers. Bulletin of the Allyn Museum, 51:130. Available for download at: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/mcguire/publications/allyn-bulletin/

[7] Pratt, G.F. and D.W. Wright. 2002. Allozyme phylogeny of the North American coppers (Lycaeninae: Lycaenidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 78(4): 219-229.

[8] Deutschman, D.H, M.E. Berres, D.A. Marshalek, and S.L. Strahm. 2010. Initial Evaluation of the Status of Hermes Coppery (Lycaena hermes). Prepared for the San Diego Association of Governments.

[9] Marschalek , D.A. and M.W. Klein Sr. 2010. Distribution, ecology, and conservation of Hermes copper (Lycaenidae: Lycaena [Hermelycaena] hermes). Journal of Insect Conservation 14:721–730.