6th August 2018

Fleabane, a flower of damp areas and ditches, (in short supply this dry, hot summer) was attracting many feeding insects yesterday, none more beautiful than the tiny, fast moving Small Copper butterfly. Fleabane, as its name suggests, was dried and burned to deter fleas, in the days when people strewed rushes and herbs on the floors of their homes. Its Latin name, Pulicaria (Pulex =Flea) Dysenterica, also points to its early use as a medicine against dysentry. Although Culpepper called it an “ill-looking weed”, the Romans valued it more highly, using it to make wreaths. Conditions: Continuing extremely hot and dry. Temperature: Max 27

Small Copper on Fleabane

Small Copper

Common Blue on Fleabane

Min14 C 

5th August 2017

Small Copper: We are lucky to have this small. bright, active butterfly in our garden sometimes, especially this year on the Marjoram. Present in many areas, in small colonies, they move fast, flashing orange/copper and are best identified when settled. Males aggressively hold territories, basking on bare ground or stones, and chasing off any approaching insects, before resettling on the same spot. Loving unimproved grassland, a declining habitat, it isn’t surprising that their numbers are sadly declining, too. Conditions: Sun and showers. Temperature: Max 21- Min 10C.

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

21st September 2016

Here’s one stunning reason for growing nectar-rich autumn flowers, like Verbena Bodnantense, This tiny butterfly, the Small Copper, is a real gem but sadly in pretty heavy decline. A very active butterfly, the male is highly aggressive and territorial, but if they settle to feed or warm up you will see their beautiful burnished orange and brown markings. It is a member of the Lycaenid or Gossamer-winged butterfly family. The caterpillars feed on dock and sorrel. Temperature: Max 17- Min 13C.

Small Copper

Small Copper

Smal Copper

Smal Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper