Other Common Names
One of my favourite species - they just seem to have so much spirit! So far, I've only seen these in the Ingleburn Recreation Reserve. The Dull Copper, P. pyrodiscus, is also found there, but the two species seem to be located in different parts of the reserve.
As with the Dull Copper, The males are territorial and chase other butterflies away from their spots. This was actually how I first spotted this butterfly. I was watching a Meadow Argus, when in mid-flight it was chased off by a much smaller butterfly. I followed this little fellow back to his favourite perch, where he promptly showed off and posed for a lot of photos.
The females are much harder to find. They appear to keep much closer to the food plant (Bursaria spinosa) than the males, and they're more easily disturbed, which also seems to be the case with P. pyrodiscus.
These butterflies just about disappeared at the end of April 2004; I had one suspected sighting early in May, but I wasn't completely sure. On the last day of July 2004 I saw several of them. Two of them had a prolonged "fight" over a perch on a fallen wattle tree. Eventually they appeared to call it a draw, and settled right next to each other. These butterflies all appeared to have overwintered as adults - they certainly did not look freshly emerged.
The first weekend in August saw a lot more of these Coppers about. I only saw males, and several of these were in very good condition and did look freshly emerged. They were continually involved in territorial disputes, often half a dozen males at a time getting involved.
On the 21st August I saw several females as well as a lot of males. I saw the males in several places where I hadn't seen any previously, though the females still kept closer to the host plants.
Ingleburn Recreation Reserve - April, July, August, September 2004, August 2009
Jenolan - February 2008