Butterflies & moths to look for in October — Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Where to look

To see one, look on commons, heathland, woodland clearings, waste ground and moorland, although they do occasionally visit gardens. They do well in warm, dry conditions.


The small copper (Lycaena phlaeas)is still a widespread butterfly but is experiencing a long-term drop in numbers. The first adults generally emerge in May, with the last adults seen around the middle of October, so they will need to be spotted early on this month!
Males are territorial (sticking to one particular place, which they defend), often choosing a piece of bare ground or a stone on which to ‘perch’ and wait for passing females. They behave aggressively towards other butterflies and even other passing insects. With other male Small coppers, this behaviour mainly involves the two butterflies circling or hovering near each other for a time before one male ‘gives up’ and is chased from the site with the winner returning to the perch.

For more info see https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/small-copper

Where we've found Small Copper Butterflies

Small Copper Butterfly spottings journal (10 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
22 Aug 2022 Stroud Valleys Project
13 Oct 2021 Cornwall Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
11 Oct 2021 Eastward Garden Centre Harrison Foxmoor Primary
11 Oct 2021 Frome gardens Maia Foxmoor Primary
11 Oct 2021 Tricorn House George Foxmoor Primary
11 Oct 2021 Stonehouse India Foxmoor Primary
15 Oct 2020 GL5 1HH Wickham Bassetts at Home
19 Sep 2020 Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
23 Aug 2020 New Polzeath, Cornwall Daisy Blended Pretty Small Copper butterfly!
14 Jun 2020 New Polzeath, Cornwall Gav Blended This Small Copper butterfly took a rest on my finger!


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