Scarce copper - Lycaena virgaureae


Male upperside.  

Family: Lycaenidae

Flight Time: June - September

Size: 30-36mm

Altitude: 1000-2000m



The Scarce copper Lycaena virgaureae has to be one of the most strikingly coloured Butterflies in Europe. They are quite common in the Alps, Pyrenees and other mountain ranges, up to 2000m and are always a joy to behold. The female is a little less boldly coloured but still a jewel. These pictures are all taken in Valais, Switzerland. The male is depicted above and the two photos below are of the female. In Eastern Europe there may be confusion with a number of similar  species.
Female underside. Female upperside.


Fact File

Similar Species Foodplants Habitat Distribution

 Lycaena thersamon

Rumex species Most flowery places.

Scarce copper distribution.


Early Stages




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