Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas
The Small Copper is a small, fast flying butterfly that, once settled, is unmistakable with its bright copper-coloured forewings.
This butterfly favours open land where nectar sources and food plant are found. Such habitats include grassland, wasteland, heathland, old quarries, embankments, road verges and woodland rides.
April/May to October.
There are typically 2 or 3 generations each year, depending on the weather, with 4 generations in extremely good years. The first adults emerge in May, occasionally at the end of April, with the last adults being seen around the middle of October, depending on location. The main larval foodplants are Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) though Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) is also used. It overwinters in the larval stage and pupates in April.
This butterfly occurs in discrete colonies throughout the British Isles.
Declining and becoming more uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland although still quite frequent at present.
Our Champion for the Small Copper is John Clarkson
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records
Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015