Friday, June 12, 2015

Small Copper

In the magnificent butterfly book (see list of useful books) by Thomas and Lewington it states that "The adult Small Copper is unmistakable, and almost too familiar to merit description." I wonder how many people in the UK would agree with that statement! Certainly I had to look it up when I got home.
Its Latin name is Lycaena phlaeas which I suspect I will forget quite quickly. They are very lively and getting a picture can apparently be a challenge. Given this was taken with my phone it's not too bad. 
It is part of the Lycaenidae family along with other coppers, the hairstreaks and the blues. The female lays her eggs almost exclusively on Common Sorrel and Sheep's Sorrel. The caterpillars eat very distinctive grooves out of the leaf blade.
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