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East Midlands Branch Butterfly Conservation

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas


The Small Copper is a common and widespread species found in a variety of habitats including heathland, unimproved grassland, woodland rides, waste ground and may also visit gardens.


The Small Copper is identified by its brightly burnished copper forewings with black margins and spots. The hindwings are dark with black-spotted copper margins. There is also an aberrant form which has a row of blue spots on the hindwing. The male is highly territorial and vigorously attacks any intruders. This is a butterfly that thrives in hot, sunny conditions.

Flight times

The Small Copper can have as many as four broods a year, flying between late April and the end of October.

Food plants

Eggs are laid singly on the under-surface of Common and Sheep's Sorrel, and occasionally Dock leaves.

Small Copper - © Simon Jenkins cut out picture of small copper butterfly

Distribution Maps for the East Midlands Region

Small Copper distribution map 2010
2010 Summary
No of tetrads 224
First sighting 17/04/2010
Last sighting 30/10/2010
Small Copper distribution map 2011
2011 Summary
No of tetrads 272
First sighting 031/03/2011
Last sighting 27/11/2011
Small Copper distribution map 2012
2012 Summary
No of tetrads 186
First sighting 12/05/2012
Last sighting 21/10/2012
Small Copper distribution map 2013
2013 Summary
No of tetrads 313
First sighting 06/05/2013
Last sighting 24/10/2013
Small Copper distribution map 2014
2014 Summary
No of tetrads 308
First sighting 23/04/2014
Last sighting 19/10/2014
Small Copper distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 311
First sighting 05/04/2015
Last sighting 31/10/2015
Small Copper distribution map 2005-09

Combined records for the five year period 2005-09

Small Copper distribution map 2010-14

Combined records for the five year period 2010-14

Comparison of years 2005-09 & 2010-14

No Data


Photo Gallery

Small Copper

Small Copper © Simon Jenkins

Small Copper

Small Copper © Simon Jenkins

Small Copper

Small Copper © Simon Jenkins

Small Copper

Small Copper © Simon Jenkins

Small Copper Small Copper Small Copper Small Copper
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