Identification - Lycaenidae

Having narrowed the options down a little there are now just 12 species of copper to choose from! All the species are represented on this page, just choose the that best fits using the pictures and details provided. 


Lycaenidae - Coppers 

Not pictured

Similar to phlaeas with purplish sheen.

Local in wet areas.

Widespread and often common.

Not pictured

Like virgaureae, larger with black spot in cell.

Local in wet areas.

Male above, female below.

White specks on underside hindwing.

Lycaena helle

Violet Copper

Lycaena phlaeas

Small Copper

Lycaena dispar

Large Copper

Lycaena virgaureae

Scarce Copper

Not pictured

Like virgaureae, no white spots on underside

Greece etc.

Male above, female below.


Subspecies gordius below is more spotted than usual.

Male above with orange marginal band.

Lycaena ottomana

Grecian Copper

Lycaena tityrus

Sooty Copper

Lycaena alciphron

Purple-shot Copper

Lycaena thersamon

Lesser Fiery Copper

Not pictured

Like thersamon, with black wing tips.

Greece etc.

Not pictured

Like thersamon with more spots on upperside.

N. Africa

Not pictured

Purple edge to top and bottom of wings.


Not pictured

Suffused bottom half of male hindwing

Bulgaria, Greece, etc.

Lycaena thetis

Fiery Copper

Lycaena phoebus

Moroccan Copper

Lycaena hippothoe

Purple-edged Copper

Lycaena candens

Balkan Copper





All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.