The females are slightly larger than the males and, the male's abdomen is thinner than the females, [best way to determine the sex of this butterfly] otherwise the sexes are alike. Normally in August an aberration form of this species can be found called Caeruleopunctata [mainly in the females] where there is a row of blue spots toward the bottom of each of the upper hind wings and, very rarely seen an Albino form. There are 2-3 broods each year, flying between the beginning of April and the end of October.
The males can be found overlooking their territory on a favourite perch [whether it is on the ground, a flower, grass stem etc] and, every now and again dashing off at high speed looking for females for which to mate with or, fighting off intruders. They use various flowers to feed on, including Fleabane, Ragwort [one of their favourites] and Thistles etc.
The females lay their eggs [ova, ovum] on Common and Sheep's Sorrel, even sometimes on Dock Leaves. They overwinter as a caterpillar.
|Male Small Coper on Ragwort|
|Male Small Copper on Ribwort Plantain, overlooking his territory|
|Female Small Copper, form Caeruleopunctata|
|Female Small Copper|
All photographs are the copyright of Nick Broomer