Small copper

Lycaena phlaeas

''Lycaena phlaeas'', the small copper, American copper, or common copper, is a butterfly of the Lycaenids or gossamer-winged butterfly family.
Lycaena phlaeas - wings closed Fairly late in the year - nov. 3rd Butterfly,Geotagged,Lepidoptera,Lycaena,Lycaena phlaeas,Lycaenidae,Netherlands,Rhopalocera,Small Copper


The upperside forewings are a bright orange with a dark outside edge border and with eight or nine black spots. The hindwings are dark with an orange border.

Some females also have a row of blue spots inside the orange border and are known as form ''caeruleopunctata''. The undersides are patterned in a similar way but are paler. The black spots on the forewings are outlined in yellow and the dark colouring is replaced by a pale brownish grey.

The hindwings are the same brown/grey colour with small black dots and a narrow orange border. The caterpillars are usually green, but some have a purple stripe down the middle of the back and along each side.
Small Copper Butterfly  (Lycaena phlaeus) One of my favourite butterflies, due to its obvious beauty and its strong personality. This is a butterfly that punches above its weight, literally.

Rarely found in large numbers at any one time, and fairly restless, it can be difficult to find resting deep in long grass, or difficult to distinguish among the similarly coloured and larger numbered Gatekeepers or Meadow Browns.

Further information on the Small Copper can be found on my Youtube Channel here: Geotagged,Lycaena phlaeas,Small copper,Summer,United Kingdom


According to Guppy and Shepard , its specific name ''phlaeas'' is said to be derived either from the Greek ''phlego'', "to burn up" or from the Latin ''floreo'', "to flourish".
American Copper An American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterfly rest on a leaf at the edge of sand dunes at Larose Forest, Limoges, Ontario, Canada. American Copper,Canada,Geotagged,Larose Forest,Limoges,Lycaena phlaeas,Ontario,Small copper,Summer,butterfly


The eggs are laid singly and conspicuously on the upperside of food plant leaves and the young caterpillar feeds on the underside of the leaf creating "windows" by leaving the upper epidermis of the leaf untouched.

Pupation takes place in the leaf litter and the pupa is thought to be tended by ants. There are between two and three broods a year, fewer further north. In exceptionally good years, a fourth brood sometimes occurs in the south and adults can still be seen flying into November. The species overwinters as a caterpillar.
Kleiner Feuerfalter  Geotagged,Germany,Lycaena phlaeas,Small copper,Summer


It is found in a wide variety range of habitats from chalk downlands, heathland, woodland clearings to churchyards and waste ground in cities.


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