Lycaena phlaeas

Small Copper

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: phlaeas

Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

Photo: phlaeas

Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

Field notes and information

Very widespread. Often found singly but can be common to abundant depending on locality and time of year.

Identification & Similar species: The underside is quite distinctive, the small black spots are not circled white and the submarginal red band is near continuous and thin. There is usually a tail on the hind wing. The upperside hindwing is dark brown with a bright solid band of orange, often with blue markings. Many of these features are shared with a few other coppers, Lycaena, but together they are distinctive.

Distribution & Flight: Throughout all of Europe and north Africa, from low levels to alpine meadows. It flies throughout the warmer months in a succession of broods.

Habitat & Behaviour: Diverse, although usually in flowery places. They fly fast and low, settling frequently to sun themselves.

Variation: Variable in most aspects. Frequently with blue spots on the upper hindwing. Orange is often reduced on the upperside in summer broods.

Photo: phlaeas

NW Greece, August 2008

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Gran Canaria, Spain, April 2011

Photo: phlaeas

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Photo: phlaeas

Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

Photo: phlaeas

Crete, Greece, April 2014

Photo: phlaeas

Gennargentu, Sardinia, Italy, July 2015

Photo: phlaeas

Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

Photo: phlaeas

Agadir, Morocco, April 2013

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Prov. Malaga, Spain, July 2013

Photo: phlaeas

Var, France, July 2010

Photo: phlaeas

Var, France, July 2010

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Andalucia, Spain, October 2005

Photo: phlaeas

Agadir, Morocco, April 2013