|Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas|
Its that bright coppery orange fore wing that usally catches your eye, this feisty little butterfly can often be seen on its chosen vantage point overlooking its territory.
The males in particular are very territorial, chasing off other insects, butterflies of all sizes,and then returning to there vantage point where they await the appearance of a female. I witnessed a male chase off a Brown Argus, a Common Blue, a Small White as well as other male Small Coppers.
I was fortunate enough to come across a pair of Small Coppers in courtship. I was under the impression that the larger of the two was the male, as it seemed to be making all the dominant moves, in particular crawling after the smaller, brighter coloured individual, which at first did not seem to interested in the idea of courtship.
This female spent some time pursuing the male around this dead thistle head, there was a brief coupling, but the male left the scene leaving the female still crawling around the thistle head.
There were plenty of other sightings on this warm sunny afternoon, providing me with various photo opportunities on different wild flower scenario's
|female Common Blue|
|Male Common Blue|