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Contents > Butterflies > Resident > Coppers > Common Copper > Variations

Common Copper pictures of variations

Lycaena salustius

Classification changes

All the Copper Butterflies are under debate as to their classification. Presently nzButterfly.info is using George Gibbs classifications. But there is merit in the Brian and Hamish Patrick’s reclassification in 2012. nzbutterfly.info will be adopting the Patrick’s classification in the present website overhaul. This will increase the number of Copper species from 4 to 7.

The Common Copper is split into the Coastal Copper and Maui’s Copper. The Glade Copper has the ‘enysii’ variation becoming the North Island Glade Copper. The Boulder Copper is also split in two with the introduction of the Canterbury Alpine Boulder Copper. Finally the Rauparaha’s Copper is unchanged.

Notes: All links are to the relevant NatureWatch NZ observation page. These pages have the scientific names which are omitted here.
Common Copper Lowland North Island Variation Distrubtion Map Lowland North Island Variation

Common Copper Lowland North Island male upperside Common Copper Lowland North Island female upperside
Lowland North Island
Male

© Mike Lusk
Lowland North Island
Female

Creative Commons Tony Wills

This variation has the largest wingspan at about 30mm, has fairly consistent colouration, but with less black spots and narrower lines along the veins. It does have the greatest sexual dimorphism where the females have substantially darker bands on the wings then the males, this lead to the idea of a sub-species (L S Maui) mentioned at the bottom of this page.





Common Copper Mountain Variation Distrubtion Map Mountain Variation

Common Copper Mountain Variation female upperside
Mountain Variation
Male

 
Mountain Variation
Female

© Taffy Parry

With a wingspan about 27mm, the males copper is slightly duller and has broader black markings which merge at the wing bases. On the female the blue patches are more predominant.

Note: This is published in other publications as the Cook Strait coast and Southern Alps Variation. I have seen several Common Coppers that match this description in Whirinaki Forest Park and have being provided pictures from upland Hawkes Bay of similar looking specimens.





Common Copper Lowland South Island Variation Distrubtion Map Lowland South Island Variation

Common Copper Lowland South Island male upperside Common Copper Lowland South Island female upperside
Lowland South Island
Male

© R Arter-Williamson
Lowland South Island
Female

© Jérôme Albre

This has the smallest wingspan of 26-28mm, they have a wider black band around the wing tips.



Sub-species

Presently all Coppers are being reviewed for re-classification. Regarding the Common Copper, it is likely to become split between 4 and 8 species (which will make this page obsolete).

Contents > Butterflies > Resident > Coppers > Common Copper > Variations