Small copper butterfly at Winterton dunes by Geoff Tibbenham 1/10
Small copper butterfly at Roydon Common by Elizabeth Dack 2/10
Small copper butterfly at Lound by Derick Stolworthy 3/10
Small copper butterfly by David North 4/10
Small copper butterfly at NWT Roydon Common by Darren Williams 5/10
Small copper butterfly at Winterton valley by Nick Goodrum 6/10
Small copper butterfly at Poringland Lakes by Elizabeth Dack 7/10
Small copper butterfly at NWT Hickling by Nick Goodrum 8/10
Small copper butterfly at Pensthorpe by Liz Dack 9/10
Small copper butterfly at Horsey Gap by Nick Goodrum 10/10

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas

This species can be found in a variety of different habitats from chalk grassland to coastal dunes and unimproved grassland. It can also be found on roadsides, railway lines and waste ground.

Conservation status

It is widespread throughout Britain but small downward trends in population have been recorded – 8% from 1976-2004 (The State of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland – 2006). The latest reported figures show it being in 503 tetrads in Norfolk (30 Years of Norfolk Butterflies). It is a species given to sudden population crashes eg the closing years of the 20th century. Subjective opinions in recent years suggest that it is on a downward trend but this may be another trend from which it will recover.

Related questions & advice

What is the difference between moths and butterflies?


Did you know? An early description (rather than name) was ‘the small golden black-spotted meadow butterfly’.

Bizarrely, whilst the species seems to benefit from warm sunny conditions, the population crashed in the long hot summer of 1976.
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