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The Violet Copper is a rare butterfly that is often confined to very small sites, where it may be seen in large numbers. It is found in swampy, wet grassland with sufficient wind shelter (shrub, forest edges) and rough vegetation bordering streams and lakes. In Central Europe, eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves of Bistort (Polygonum bistorta). In Transylvania mostly humid or damp oak forest clearings with mosaic-like vegetation. In the north of its range Viviparous Bistort (Polygonum vivipara) is also used as larval foodplant. The young caterpillars eat the lower epidermis, thus making the characteristic “windows”. It passes the winter as a pupa. Its western populations have one, the eastern populations mostly two generations a year. Habitats: humid grasslands and tall herb communities (37%), alpine and subalpine grasslands (10%), water-fringe vegetation (8%), fens, transition mires and springs (8%), dry calcareous grasslands and steppes (5%), mesophile grasslands (5%).


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© Chris van Swaay

Supplier: Katja Schulz

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