Small Copper

Lycaena phlaeas (61.0010)

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

Habitat Requirements

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 fluctuate depending upon the weather. Hot summers will usually boost numbers substantially so long as the larvae foodplant is not affected by drought.

Larval Foodplants

The larvae of the Small Copper feed on Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius).

Distribution in Warwickshire

See maps below. Distribution text required.

Distribution of the Small Copper 1995-2004 inclusive


Distribution of the Small Copper 2005-2009 inclusive


Distribution of the Small Copper 2010-2014 inclusive


Distribution of the Small Copper 2015-2019 inclusive


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