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Small Copper Butterfly: Facts, Characteristics, Habitat and More

By    May 16th

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Small Copper Facts

Scientific Classification of Small Copper Butterfly: Lycaena Phlaeas

Kingdom of Small Copper Butterfly: Animalia

Phylum of Small Copper Butterfly: Arthropoda

Class of Small Copper Butterfly: Insecta

Order of Small Copper Butterfly: Lepidoptera

Family of Small Copper Butterfly: Lycaenidae

Genus of Small Copper Butterfly: Lycaena

Species of Small Copper Butterfly:  L.Phlaeas

Small Copper Butterfly

These species belong to the family of gossamer winged family. The butterflies are very beautiful and are mostly petted for enhancement of the charm of gardens. These invertebrates tend to be very active and lively and often attract attention as a flick of orange in mid-air.

Pictures of Small Copper Butterfly

We have some beautiful pictures of these butterflies.

Some Exciting Facts about Small Copper Butterfly

  • These species are also known as Common Copper or American Copper.
  • The butterfly is very active by nature. They have a very interesting way of chase.
  • The forelimbs of females are bigger and more developed than the males.
  • These beautiful species are differentiated on the basis of their fragile changeable wings.
  • These species are extensively present in North America.

Distribution of Small Copper Butterfly

These species are majorly found in Europe, North America and Asia. Other popular locations include southern parts North America in Ethiopia, England, Scotland, Ireland and south and central regions of Wales. They can also be spotted in Canada, Rockies and Northern Alaska.

Characteristics of Small Copper Butterfly

The physical appearance of the butterfly varies largely in two different stages of their lifecycle and we elaborate on both of them below.

Larvae stage

  • Color of Small Copper Butterfly: The larvae stage can have varied colors but the noticeable ones are red, yellow and pale yellowish green dotted with red marks along the sides or back.
  • Size of Small Copper Butterfly: It is seen that the size of a fully developed larvae is about ¾ th inch.

Adult Stage

  • Color of Adult Small Copper Butterfly: During the prettier stage of the lifecycle, the butterfly has the upper portion of the wings in two tones. The upper flank of the wing is bright red with 8-9 brownish black spots marked by a dark border. The hindwings have a dark base highlighted with an orange edge. In a few females, there are some rows of the blue colored dots in the orange circle called caeruleopunctata.
  • Wingspan of Small Copper Butterfly: The length of the wingspan is about 7/8-13/8 inches.

Behavior of Small Copper Butterfly

  • These species normally fly about 1.5 feet above ground level and habitually cirle a particular place.
  • The males have a habit if safeguarding their territories and hence they have been thought to be angry species. They show their aggression even while chasing females..
  • The butterfly prefers to mate in the regions with less vegetation.

Food Habits of Small Copper Butterfly

The caterpillars prefer herbs of buckwheat such as sheep sorrel, mountain sorrel, and curly dock in their diet. The juveniles also feed on leaves through holes from below them. As they reach the adult stage, they prefer to suck nectar from flowers including buttercup, yarrow, oxy-eye-daisy, white cover etc.

Habitat of Small Copper Butterfly

These beautiful species can be seen in the churchyard clearings, pastures, forest clearings, fields and uncultivated lands dotted with scrublands. It is striking but these butterflies are sometimes found flying on the city wastes as well.

Reproduction & Life Cycle of Small Copper Butterfly

  • Usually the female counterpart lay pale green colored eggs on outward portion of the leaf of the mother plant.
  • The younger ones have the lower portion of the leaves by digging a hole so cleverly that the upper portion of the eaten leaf is totally left as it is.
  • The breeding actually takes place on the leaf litters. It has been observed that the ants are responsible for taking care of the pupa.
  • The butterfly undergoes 4 to 5 growth stages. These stages are called instars.
  • Infact there are 2-3 broods annually. The fourth one is found in the southern regions.
  • The beautiful species are seen overwinter during the stage of caterpillar. The stage is known as diapause.

Flight of Small Copper Butterfly

The flight of the butterfly varies at various locations of their habitat. In the Alpine & Arctic region, they seem to have only one flight from July to September. The butterflies in the north have a flight about twice during August to September. Some might also fly thrice a month during April to September.

Life Span of Small Copper Butterfly

These species usually live for few days. It is seen that their average span of life is hardly 2 weeks.

Conservation Status of Small Copper Butterfly

These species are secured and are not listed on the category of endangered species.

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