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 bright 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
Small Copper - © Simon Jenkins.

Distribution Maps

Small Copper distribution map 2005-09
Small Copper distribution map 2010-14
Small Copper distribution map 2015-19
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 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 236
First sighting 18/04/2016
Last sighting 03/11/2016
Small Copper distribution map 2017
2017 Summary
No of tetrads 319
First sighting 17/04/2017
Last sighting 04/11/2017
Small Copper distribution map 2018
2018 Summary
No of tetrads 550
First sighting 13/04/2018
Last sighting 05/11/2018
Small Copper distribution map 2019
2019 Summary
No of tetrads 469
First sighting 09/04/2019
Last sighting 27/10/2019

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