Small Copper

Lycaena phlaeas


Wingspan 26 - 36mm. The upper fore-wings are bright orange, bordered with dark brown and with dark brown spotting. The upper hind-wings are dark brown, bordered on the trailing edge with orange with dark brown spotting. The undersides of the fore-wings are a paler orange with black spotting and the undersides of the hind-wings are buff with small dark spots. Some individuals have blue spots on the uppersides of the hind-wings, form caeruliopunctata.


Woodland edge, hedgerows, grasslands, heathlands and rough ground. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of sorrels. 

Status and distribution

Fairly common in England, Wales and lowland Scotland. Fairly common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons, although the species is currently undergoing a decline in numbers. 

Best time to see

April to October in three broods.