Small Coppers

Field Paintings

The prolonged warm weather over the summer this year has provided optimum conditions for one of our most beautiful butterflies. The small copper Lycaena phlaeas is usually quite scarce in the first brood which emerges in May but with warm conditions numbers build up during the summer brood and if conditions remain favourable larger numbers will fly in the third brood during September and October. I visited a lovely wet meadow on the edge of Dartmoor and spent a few hours sketching them. At this site there is a profusion of water mint which attracts many insects including these stunning butterflies that look especially beautiful in the soft autumn light.

John Walters

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