Home The Butterflies of Gloucestershire Species Habitats Conservation

Small Copper

Lycaena phlaeas
31 May 1981 28 May 1982


Small Copper can be found in a variety of habitat including open grassland, along wide tracks in farmland and woodland, along old railway lines, in old quarries and other disused industrial sites.

Conservation Issues

The species is common, and under no apparent threat at present.

Flight Period

May and June for the first generation, mid July and August for the second which overlaps with a third generation lasting into October.


The species is distributed throughout the area. It is usually seen in small numbers in the Cotswolds. Populations are larger in the Forest of Dean, suitable places in the Severn Vale and in the Cotswold Water Park area. This may be because one of its main foodplants, Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) prefers neutral or acidic soils.