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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Butterflies - Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

A tiny jewel of a butterfly, the metallic copper coloured forewings of this small butterfly give its name away. The Small Copper is rarely seen in great numbers. Most colonies consist of a few individuals. The males are higly terrtorial and will attempt to chase of rivals and even birds in order to protect his territory.

  • Larval Food Plants
  • Habitat
  • Status
  • Key Sites
  • Links
  • Photographs

Sheep's Sorel (Rumex acetosella)
Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)

The Small Copper lives in a wide variety of habitats where it is warm and dry, from roadside verges and disused railway lines to moorland and heath.

It is usually found in small colonies often consisting of no more than a few dozen individuals. The numbers of Small Copper fluctuates depending upon the weather. Hot summers will usually boost numbers substantially so long as the larvae foodplant is not affected by drought.

Resident in Warwickshire.

Draycote Meadows (WWT Reserve)
Shadowbrook Meadow (WWT Reserve)
Grove Hill (WWT Reserve)
Loxley Church Meadow (WWT Reserve)
Knowle Hill (WWT Reserve)

Find out more about the Small Copper online at the following links;

Flight Chart
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Small Copper butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.

Small Copper Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

Small Copper - 2011 records / distribution. Small Copper - 2010 records / distribution. Small Copper - 2000 to 2009 records / distribution.
2011 (1yr) 2010 (1yr) 2000-09 (10yr)

Small CopperSmall Copper © Steven Cheshire

Annual First Sightings
First sighting dates are based on records of Small Copper submitted online. Please note that these dates are not updated retrospectively to include records submitted to the branch recorder in other forms.

14/05/2018 Sutton Coldfield

02/04/2017 Bedworth

04/05/2016 Fenny Compton Tunnels

23/04/2015 Shustoke Reservoir

03/05/2014 Draycote Meadow

25/05/2013 Mancetter Quarry

25/03/2012 Cubbington

28/03/2011 Garden/Field Peacock House, Oxhill

26/04/2010 Fenny Compton Tunnels

22/04/2009 Middleton Hall, Mill Plantation

14/05/2008 Badesley Ensor

14/04/2007 Knowle Hill LNR, Kenilworth

Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.