Species of the Month - May 2012

Small Copper

Lycaena phlaeas

This butterfly is common over most of Britain but thins out in the north and west.  It has two generations in our area, the first in May-June and the second in August-September.  The adult butterflies visit a wide variety of flowers, and are often found in the vicinity of Sorrel where the females lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves.

Lycaena phlaeas form caeruleopunctata   Lycaena phlaeas

It is a small butterfly but easily recognised.  It likes open sunny places such as flowery roadside banks, and will often rest on a stone to bask in the sun.

Lycaena phlaeas   Lycaena phlaeas


Lycaena phlaeas   Lycaena phlaeas


Lycaena phlaeas

To help map the distribution of this species and its flight times in the West Highlands, please send in your Small Copper sightings using the form below.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Number seen 
Flowers visited 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g habitat, behaviour 


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

No first generation sightings at all.

10 Aug: I found one in Glen Stockdale.

28 Aug: One spotted by Chris on our midweek walk at Dunstaffnage, in area of Devilsbit Scabious flowers.

It was a very good year for butterflies generally but the Small Copper was the exception with no first generation sightings and just two second generation individuals spotted.

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Apr 2012 - Green Tiger Beetle
Mar 2012 - March Moth
Feb 2012 - Barren Strawberry
Jan 2012 - Brambling
Dec 2011 - Red Squirrel
Nov 2011 - Hazel Gloves
Oct 2011 - Small Tortoiseshell
Sep 2011 - Fly Agaric
Aug 2011 - Grass of Parnassus
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Jun 2011 - 7-spot Ladybird
May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock

Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

Next month's page
Current month's page

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated