Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Small copper butterfly

photo from 'urban butterfly garden'
 
Small Copper butterflies are now flying at Filnore Woods.
 
The males are quite fidgety and challenge any passing insect in the hope of finding a female to mate with.
 
The females fly low over the grass looking for sorrel or dock plants to lay their eggs on.  This is what the caterpillars like to munch.
 
The adults meanwhile feed on the nectar of many common grassland plants suh as daisy, dandelion, buttercups, fleabane, ragwort, red clover, thistles and yarrow. 
 
Populations of small coppers have declined because of intensive agriculture.  They cannot survive on fertilised grass swards. So our sympathetic approach to grassland management at Filnore Woods will hopefully give them a friendly habitat.
 
 You should be able to see them there right up until mid-October but they don't do well in cool, wet summers.
 

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