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Images 1 &2 contributed by
U.K photographer Michael Smith.
Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Images 3 - 13 contributed by
U.K. photographer Deborah Lovell.
Also known as the American Copper, or Common Copper.
They are usually seen in ones and twos, but some years larger numbers may be found.
Males are quite territorial, often choosing a piece of bare ground or a stone on which to bask and wait for passing females.
They set up small territories which they defend against rival males and they will not tolerate other insects.
Females are pursued in these territories and mating usually occurs in vegetation in these territories.
Small coppers have bright orange forewings with dark brown spots and thick, dark brown margins.
They have dark brown back wings banded with orange.
When their wings are open, the dorsal sides of the forewings show a brilliant orange coloration with a dark edge border and a few spots in black.
The back wings are pretty much the opposite, with a dark base color, bordered with orange.
Some females show a row of blue marks inside the orange border.
When the wings are closed, they show a similar design and pattern, though fainter.
Females typically have fewer dark spots on their wings.
Small Coppers are fast flying butterflies that when resting are unmistakable with their bright copper-colored forewings.
They are a widespread species. though they declined significantly throughout their range during the twentieth century.
Adults have a lifespan of around two weeks.
Caterpillar diet: primarily sorrel.
Adult diet: nectar from knotgrass, fleabane, dandelion, buddleias and heathers.
Adult wing span: 32-35mm /3.2 - 3.5 cm / 1.25 – 1.38”
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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