Small Copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)

The image i provided is a photograph of a Small Copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas). Small Copper butterflies belong to the family Lycaenidae and are characterized by their vibrant orange wings with black markings and a coppery sheen. Here are some key features and characteristics of the Small Copper butterfly:

  1. Appearance: Small Copper butterflies are small to medium-sized with wingspan typically ranging from 25 to 32 millimeters (about 1 to 1.3 inches). They have bright orange wings with black spots and markings. The undersides of the wings are usually lighter in color with distinctive black and white patterning.
  2. Habitat: Small Copper butterflies inhabit a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, meadows, heathlands, scrublands, and woodland edges. They are often found in areas with abundant nectar sources and suitable larval host plants.
  3. Range: Small Copper butterflies have a widespread distribution across Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. They are also found in some parts of North America, where they have been introduced.
  4. Lifecycle: Small Copper butterflies undergo complete metamorphosis, with egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult stages. The caterpillars feed on various species of dock plants (Rumex species) and sorrel (Rumex acetosa). Adults feed on the nectar of a wide range of flowers, including thistles, knapweeds, and dandelions.
  5. Behavior: Small Copper butterflies are diurnal and are often seen basking in the sun with their wings open. They have a rapid and erratic flight pattern, making them challenging to catch or photograph. Males may patrol territories and engage in territorial behavior to defend mating sites.
  6. Conservation: Small Copper butterflies are not considered globally threatened, but local populations may face threats from habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, agricultural intensification, and climate change. Conservation efforts focus on preserving and restoring grassland habitats, promoting sustainable land management practices, and raising awareness about the importance of butterflies and their ecosystems.

Overall, the Small Copper butterfly is a beautiful and widespread species valued for its colorful appearance and ecological significance as a pollinator in open habitats.

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