Scarce Copper (Lycaena virgaureae)
Male. Taken nr Dobrinishte, Bulgaria on July 25th 2015.
(1/400th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize)
Female. Taken in the Pirin mountains, Bulgaria, on July 23rd 2015.
(1/200th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize)
Underside. Taken in the Pirin mountains, Bulgaria, on July 23rd 2015.
(1/400th sec at f14)
© David Hastings
DescriptionWing span: 28 - 32mm
One of the most striking butterflies in Europe. Males are gleaming coppery-red or orange with dark borders. The female has orange upper surfaces with dark sooty spots on both wings.
It is widespread through most of Europe, extending from northern Spain to Fennoscandia.
Typical habitats are meadows and other grassland, neglected fields and roadsides and forest clearings between 1000 and 2000m.
There is one generation per year between late June and early September.
The main larval foodplants are Sorrells (Rumex acetosa, R.acetosella). Docks (Rumex spp.) are sometimes used.