Lycaena tityrus

Sooty Copper

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

Show butterflies of: EU US
io-header
Photo: tityrus

Valais, Switzerland, June/July 2007

Photo: tityrus

Cluj, Romania, June 2006

Field notes and information

Widespread and frequently encountered across most of Europe, absent from the UK, Scandinavia and much of Spain.

Identification & Similar species: The dark upperside hindwing eliminates most similar species. Males are sooty black on the upperside. On the underside, a double band of black marginal spots on both wings and a rather uniform greyish ground colour help distinguish the species. The very similar blue sooty copper, L. bleusei, flies in central spain. The species do not overlap. It is separated by the orange on the upperside forewing of the male.

Distribution & Flight: Most of Europe except most of Spain, UK and Scandinavia. It flies in a series of broods through the warmer months.

Habitat & Behaviour: Diverse but usually flowery grassy meadows in grassland, woodland or at alpine levels.

Variation: Extent of orange colouration and markings all vary. At high altitudes, subspecies subalpina flies in which both sexes are very sooty.

Photo: tityrus

S Greece, June 2013

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

S Greece, June 2013

Photo: tityrus

Piedmont, Italy, July 2012

Photo: tityrus

Piedmont, Italy, July 2012

Photo: tityrus

Macedonia, Greece, May 2004 (f)

Extremely orange female.

Photo: tityrus

Vaud, Switzerland, April/ May 2010

Photo: tityrus

Vaud, Switzerland, May 2009

Photo: tityrus

Cluj, Romania, June 2006

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

Valais, Switzerland, August 2014

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

SW Serbia, June 2012

Photo: tityrus

Les Doubs, France, May 2004 (f)

Photo: tityrus

Vaud, Switzerland, July 2006

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

Les Doubs, France, May 2004 (f)

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

Vaud/ Valais, Switzerland, May/ July/ August 2010

Photo: tityrus

Piedmont, Italy, June 2011

Photo: tityrus

Alpes de Haute Provence, France, July 2009

Photo: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrusPhoto: tityrus

Vaud, Switzerland, May 2009

Photo: tityrus

Vaud, Switzerland, May 2012

Photo: tityrus

Les Doubs, France, May 2004 (f)

Photo: tityrus

2300m, Valais, Switzerland, July 2004

High altitude form subalpinus lacking all orange.

Photo: tityrus

Kastoria, Greece, May 2004 (m)

Much submarginal orange was normal across N Greece in May. Hint of blue in underside hindwing marginal areas.

Photo: tityrus

Macedonia, Greece, July 2004 (f)

Photo: tityrus

Valais, Switzerland, July 2011

Photo: tityrus

Les Doubs, France, May 2004 (m)

Photo: tityrus

Var, France, May 2004 (m)

The male underside forewing lacks the extensive orange flush of the female.