THE COPPERS

The Coppers are a subfamily of the “Gossamer-winged” butterflies, the Lycaenidae. The two other subfamilies are the Blues and the Hairstreaks. The adults are small, generally under 5 cm across, and often quite brightly coloured. The larvae tend to be flat, emit scents and sounds that attract ants, which then often take care of the larvae, feeding them until they pupate.

There is only one butterfly in this group, the Small Copper. This is a delightful small and subtly orange coloured butterfly, which is usually found in very small numbers, generally seen in ones or twos at a time, quite often in the meadows where the Common Blue ad Brown Argus can also be found. I have particularly seen them on the edges of the fields down by the River Medway, and in the tiny meadow by the side of the Bourne.

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