Purple Shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron)
Male. Taken at Irinovac, Croatia, on June 6th 2017.
(1/320th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize)
Female. Taken near Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria, on July 23rd 2015.
(1/800th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize)
© David Hastings
DescriptionWing span: 28 - 32mm
The male's upper surfaces are heavily suffused with purple or violet. Females have golden brown upper sides, with black spots. The hindwing underside is grey with an even orange submarginal band.
It is widespread but sporadic through most of Europe. It is scarce in the Balkans and absent from the British Isles and Fennoscandia.
It can be found in meadows and grasslands, sandy hillsides with scrub, forest clearings and rocky slopes up to 2500m.
There is usually one generation per year from June to early August.
Larvae feed mainly on Rumex acetosa, rarely other docks and sorrels. They have a relationship with ants, like other lycaenids.