Large copper

Lycaena dispar

Large copper, photo: Arne Ader

Like most species in the family, female and male large coppers look different. Their wings are predominantly shiny orange red with a dark pattern. On the wings of male butterflies, darker scales can only be seen on the outer edge and in the cross-section area. The upper side of female butterfly wings have more dark scales: they form spots both on the front and back wing, in addition to the dark edge of the wing. They live in meadows, boggy meadows, and on the shores of waterbodies. Large coppers are protected in Estonia (protection category III). There are two other protected species in Tallinn: the scarce heath and the woodland brown. Their eggs, caterpillars, chrysalides, and imagoes are an important link in the food chain of ecosystems, as they are food for many invertebrates and vertebrates. The imagoes of butterflies require nectar for survival, making them important pollinators. In Tallinn, they are most common in Astangu, Pääsküla bog, Raku, Liiva, and Merimetsa.