Saturday, 31 October 2009
The Small Copper is usually seen in ones and twos, but in some years large numbers may be found at good sites. Males are territorial, often choosing a piece of bare ground or a stone on which to bask and await passing females. They behave aggressively towards any passing insects, returning to the same spot when the chase is over.
Though it remains a common and widespread species, the Small Copper declined throughout its range during the twentieth century.
It occurs in a wide variety of habitats: chalk grassland, moorland, heathland, coastal dunes and undercliffs, woodland clearings, and unimproved grassland. This species may be found also in small patches of land such as set-aside fields, roadside verges, railway embankments, allotments, churchyards, and waste ground, even in cities. Warm, dry situations are especially favoured.
Additional information about butterflies can be found on the Butterfly Conservation website here.