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Contents > Butterflies > Resident > Coppers > Glade Copper

Glade Copper

Pepe Para Riki

Lycaena feredayi (was Chrysophanus enysii and Chrysophanus feredayi)

Distribution & Status Glade Copper Distrubtion Map

Common Due to it's more limited habitat it appears less common then it really is. However it is not as abundant as they used to be, due to foodplant loss. But since it's foodplant is becoming a fashionable native bush to grow, it could quite possibly increase in numbers with some good habitat management of reserves and forests.

iNaturalist NZ
Observations map for
Glade Copper (L feredayi)

iNaturalist NZ
Observations map for
NI Glade Copper (L enysii)

Scientific Classification More info











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 iNaturalist NZ observation page. These pages have the scientific names which are omitted here.

A native species of Butterfly that still needs farther study and whose life history is not well known. (See bottom of page for unanswered questions). It derives its name from its habitat as it frequents forest glades, gullies and watercourses. The Glade Copper has 1 variation that effects about 10% of the population and nearly all individuals in inland Southland. It is fairly consistent in wing pattern and colouring unlike the extremely variable Common Copper or the less variable Rauparaha's Copper, however it's younger stages are almost identical. It doesn't frequent the wide range of habitats like the other Coppers, due to it's only recorded foodplant, the Large-leafed Pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia australis), mainly growing in forest gullies, glades and along watercourses. They can also be found in other areas if their larval foodplant is present. Like the Boulder and Rauparaha's Copper, the Glade Copper doesn't travel much more then 20-50 metres from areas of the larval foodplant. The larvae have had recorded parasitism from a Ichneumon Wasp Diadegma spp and a undescribed Tachinid fly of the species Pales (family: Tachinidae, subfamily: Goniinae). All the coppers are all suffering from Wasp predation, especially paper wasps, as they are a good source of protein for the wasp's developing larvae.

Ovum  In English

Laid on underside of foodplant leaves near the edge. Usually located on projecting branches or shoots of the foodplant. Whitish in colour and shaped like a tiny flattened sphere.

Larvae  In English

Upon hatching it's a yellow-green, but once it starts eating it becomes a leaf-like green with minute white spots and reddish hairs. It has it's legs and head covered by fleshy side flanges (giving it a Woodlouse shape), it appears to have a slow slug-like movement. It is similar to the Common Copper, but has brighter green colouring due to the yellow hue of the dorsal 'pom-pom' setae. Some have conspicuous red and yellow patches along the upper sides of the metathorax and the first few abdominal segments. The larvae live about 6 weeks and have 4 instars.

The first 3 instars take about 7-9 days each and that last instar is about 3 weeks. In the first 2 instars they only feed beneath the leaves, grazing the lower tissues in oval patterns. In the 3rd instar they will chew right through the leaf. In the final instar they begin to eat notches from the side of the leaves.

Overwinters after 1st instar moult. Since the foodplant is partly deciduous, it is suspected that the larvae move to a sheltered spot near the base of the foodplant and either spend the winter in a quiescence or diapause. Feeding resumes when foodplant growth starts. These overwintering larvae go on to pupate in October. Grows up to 14mm when fully grown.

Pupa  In English

Reddish brown with dark greenish-brown wing cases. They hide in a tent of leaves held together by silk which makes a basic cocoon within the foodplant. This sets it apart from the Common and Rauparaha's Copper. However the Boulder Copper will sometimes pupate in the foodplant, but it's pupae is smaller and smoother, whereas the Glade Copper has rough texture due to setae. It then attaches itself by a cremaster. Again it's differs from other Coppers as it has about 160 hooklets at tail end to stay attached to its cremaster. Pupation lasts about 17 days, but this can be longer. They are very difficult to find in the wild, which is not helped by the foodplant as it forms a dense mat to the ground.

Imago  In English

The imago has a 25-32mm wingspan, the average North Island male being 29mm and the average South Island male being 27mm. They have heavier dark markings on the wings then other coppers, the giveaway being a blackish triangle on the upperside of the hindwing near the abdomen. The underwings are generally yellow with large dark (purplish-brown) triangular smudge. There is no sexual dimorphism on the wings unlike other Coppers, so you need to look at the abdomen to tell the difference between genders. The males is long and narrow, while the females is short and swollen. If in the same habitat, they can seen flying with seen flying with Common and Rauparaha's Coppers apart from January when the Glade Copper is very scarce. This probably reduces the chances of hybridising as they have being recorded as hybridising. They like rest on a projecting stem of vegetation or a flower (especially Blackberry flowers) that is usually over 3-6 metres above ground level. They will investigate any other Butterfly that comes close by flying out to it, before going back to a suitable stem of vegetation. Imagos generally live for about 7 days, so they have a almost constant cycle of all lifestages during the flight months.


About 10% of individuals have a almost complete brown underside. Which in inland Southland, affects nearly all individuals.
Presently all Coppers are being reviewed for re-classification. Regarding the Glade Copper, it is likely to become split into 2 species (Lycaena feredayi and Lycaena enysii).


Found in forest glades, gullies and along watercourses. They can also be found in other areas if their larval foodplant is present. It is generally found below 400 metres, but in Central Otago it's recorded up to 700 metres.

Food Plants

Only recorded in the wild on Large-leafed Pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia australis) and M complexa hybrids, but suspected it maybe able to survive on Creeping Pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) too.

Lifecycle of the Glade Copper
Unknown Facts

The Glade Copper is a species of Butterfly that still needs farther study.

Unanswered questions are;

Please contact nzButterfly.info if you can answer any of the above questions.

Contents > Butterflies > Resident > Coppers > Glade Copper