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The small copper – Lycaena phlaeas llo

The small copper – Lycaena phlaeas
is a butterfly of the Lycaenids or gossamer-winged butterfly family. According to Guppy and Shepard (2001), its specific name phlaeas is said to be derived either from the Greek phlego, “to burn up” or from the Latin floreo, “to flourish”.

The upperside forewings are a bright orange with a dark outside edge border and with eight or nine black spots. The hindwings are dark with an orange border. Some females also have a row of blue spots inside the orange border and are known as form caeruleopunctata. The undersides are patterned in a similar way but are paler. The black spots on the forewings are outlined in yellow and the dark colouring is replaced by a pale brownish grey. The hindwings are the same brown/grey colour with small black dots and a narrow orange border. The caterpillars (larvae) are usually green, but some have a purple stripe down the middle of the back and along each side.