8 Sep 2021
Please look out for Copper Butterflies this season !
Back in mid-August a photo was taken of the ACT's first ever Bathurst or Purple Copper Butterfly (Paralucia spinifera) and was submitted to Canberra Nature Map. This was an incredible and significant record - not only was this butterfly previously thought to be restricted to the Bathurst and Lithgow region of NSW, but it is also listed as Endangered in NSW and as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act. It is reliant on open areas with Native Blackthorn; we expect it will be found in areas above 850 metres and will be more detectable in areas burnt within the last 4-5 years.
Consequently we would appreciate records of any of the ACT copper butterflies you might encounter during your nature outings so we can get more comprehensive information on their distributions and flight periods. Due to the unfortunate timing of lockdown coinciding almost perfectly with the main flight period of the Bathurst/Purple Copper, we think their flight season has finished; Chequered Coppers and Bright Coppers however have started flying, and we haven't recorded any Fiery Coppers yet this season.
Bathurst/Purple Copper, Bright Copper and Fiery Copper larvae feed on Native Blackthorn (Bursaria spinosa), while Chequered Coppers feed on Oxalis including Shady Wood Sorrel (Oxalis exilis).
Your main contact is Suzi Bond.
For more information, please see the Bathurst or Purple Copper threatened species profile.
For photos, visit Bathurst or Purple Copper Butterfly.
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