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The Large Copper Butterfly (Lycaena dispar) is of the family Lycaenidae which is in the genus Lycaena. Its main strong hold is south western Asia and south eastern Europe. In addition there are isolated populations in France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad and Poland.
It is found in damp areas near lakes, canals, rivers and in fens where its larval food plants Docks (Rumex) occurs, this includes Water Dock (Rumex hydrolapathum), Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) and Broad Leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius).
Formally bred Britain (in East Anglia, England but became extinct by 1851), subsequent reintroductions failed to permanently re-establish it. There were also a number of attempts to establish a population in Ireland but to no avail and the last report was in 1953.
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds