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Lycaena phlaeas

Lycaena phlaeas
Photo Information
Copyright: Nikos Roditakis (NikosR) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 3 N: 447] (3436)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-05-11
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D5200, 90mm Tamron AF SP f/2.8 VC USD
Exposure: f/20.0, 1/100 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2016-05-18 1:37
Viewed: 1247
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lycaena plaeas (L., 1761)
Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae
Common name: Small copper, common copper

Lycaena phlaeas is a medium size butterfly very common in Crete. According to Guppy and Shepard (2001), its specific name phlaeas is said to be derived either from the Greek Phlego, "to burn up" or from the Latin Floreo, "to flourish". The upperside forewings are a bright orange with a dark outside edge border and with eight or nine black spots. The hindwings are brown/grey colour with an orange border, with small black dots and a narrow orange border. I post a picture in WS. In bright sun it is a very active little butterfly with the males setting up small territories which they will defend vigorously against rival males or indeed any unlucky passing insect. Even the shadow of a large bird passing overhead is enough to elicit a response. Females are pursued and mating usually occurs in vegetation.

Females and males are distinguished by copper band in hind wings. That in WS is a female.

The eggs are laid singly and conspicuously on the upperside of foodplant leaves and the young caterpillar feeds on the underside of the leaf creating "windows" by leaving the upper epidermis of the leaf untouched. Pupation takes place in the leaf litter and the pupa is thought to be tended by ants. There are between two and three broods a year, fewer further north. In exceptionally good years, a fourth brood sometimes occurs in the south and adults can still be seen flying into November. The species overwinters as a caterpillar.

Depending on the habitat, common sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) are the two main food-plants, although other docks (Rumex spp.) are occasionally used.

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-05-18 3:43]

Hello Nikos,
I am at work viewing your photo from my iPhone and it looks great. I really like the beautiful markings and contrasting colors of it's slightly opened wings. Focus appears sharp and the exposure is perfect. Your WS photo of the female is top notch quality as well. I never realized that the pupa of these tiny butterflies were thought to be tended by ants, how interesting.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-05-20 8:44]

Hi Nikos,excellent capture of this common small butterfly,one of the most common and easy to take in my fields...beautiful colors and excellent sharpness too,i like it! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2016-05-21 7:48]

Gia sou Nikos,
A nice capture of this Lycaena phlaeas..
Beautiful colours good composition and sharpness details.
Have a nice weekend,

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