Due to the sheer number of named aberrations for some species, not all are shown on the species pages - only those for which corresponding images are available. This page, however, provides access to all of the named aberrations for a given species, where known and Goodson & Read (1969) is a key resource in this regard.
Aberration is fairly frequently met with in this species and even quite small colonies can produce interesting forms year after year. It is always worth having a close look at any Small Copper that you see in the field.
Upperside ground colour can vary from pure silver-white through oranges and fiery reds, to deeply suffused specimens that appear almost entirely black. The amount of copper on the hindwing band can be greatly exaggerated or reduced to the point of absence. The number, size, and shape of the black forewing spots can also vary considerably on both the upperside and underside; and even the tails on the hind wings can be markedly exaggerated in length. Heavy suffusion on the upperside is probably environmentally triggered and can sometimes be met with relative frequency in the autumn generation following a particularly hot summer.
Rarely (as in other species) more than one genetically inherited aberration can be expressed in the same specimen. This becomes particularly impressive where, for example, the silver-white ab. schmidtii also expresses the blue markings on the hindwings known as ab. caeruleopunctata and the reduced forewing markings of ab. bipunctata. Such multiple aberrations are almost unknown in the wild but have been produced in captivity by selective pairing of aberrant imagines through successive generations. There are 140 named aberrations known to occur in Britain.
= antipluripuncta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.,desc.p.75.Mon.Coridon.
Extra spots appearing on the upper or underside of the forewings where normally there are none.
Underside only. Forewing with two spots in the top costal portion. In typical specimens there is only one. Another ridiculous name, covered by the addenda of Williams, but Leeds restricts this to the underside only so it is included here as underside only, Williams form being both upper and underside.
White ground colour and showing definite tails. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
The inner half of the left wing whitish. Almost certainly pathological and should not have been named.
The marginal border of the forewings very narrow.
= antialba Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.141.
The forewings white, the hindwing band normal copper. Leeds makes this an underside form also, the forewings whitish or white, the hindwings also whitish.
Ground colour of the forewings brownish, sometimes with a shimmer of copper or yellowish. The hindwings normal copper on the marginal band.
Underside of forewing with one or more basal spots connected by a streak or streaks to the discoidal spot.
Forewing with the discoidal spot larger.
Underside of forewings fiery-orange or red.
Forewings underside with one or more spots of the submarginal row connecting with an extra spot or spots. Leeds reference to the main volume gives underside form but in the Addenda he does not say underside only, as he does for postjuncta, so it possibly also occurs on the upperside.
The ground colour straw or cream on forewings, the hindwings with normal copper band. Underside straw or cream. Since Leeds says this covers schmidtii he apparently means the very pale examples with cream ground, which Tutt erroneously called schmidtii.
Underside form. Forewings with one or more of the submarginal spots absent, sometimes one or both of the basal spots also absent.
Upperside of forewings brassy or yellowish. Hindwings normal copper on band. Leeds gives the same name to underside forewings which are pale orange or yellowish.
On the forewings unusual erratic shaping of the submedian spots. A completely unnecessary name.
On the forewing underside the submarginal spots are erratic in shape. Also described as an upperside form.
Forewings dark brownish or blackish except for a distinct stripe of yellowish or copper from the basal area, via the discoidal, towards the outer border. Hindwings normal copper on band.
Forewings with the apical, costal, or both spots, connecting with the discoidal spot. Presumably these are the top two spots of the submarginal row. Whether or not they are upperside or underside is not stated so it may cover both.
Underside only. Forewing with the top apical spot of the submarginal row elongated.
On the hindwings the dark area of the upperside is shot with a red glow at the base and central area as far as the marginal band. This glow is absent in normal specimens.
Underside of hindwing with a continuous line between the third basal spot and an opposite submarginal spot.
Upperside of forewings with an extra basal spot as in basilipuncta Tutt but the two are connected by a black streak.
= bipuncta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
Upperside of forewings with an extra basal spot in cell, making two spots.
Upperside of forewings black, except margins which are brownish-black, a small patch of dull yellowish copper at base and along inner margin, gradually disappearing half way along the submedian line. The black is truly black and contrasts with the brown outer margin, there being no trace of the normal spots. Hindwings with the copper marginal band partly obscured. This an extreme form of ab. melanophlaeas Villiers & Guenee which probably was also black when fresh. Since this cannot be clarified with certainty it is kept as a separate form.
A wing or wings of a different colour on one side, from those of the other side, not thinly scaled or bleached.
Forewing with the black discoidal spot completely divided in its centre making two spots.
= paucimaculata Vorbrodt.Ent.Schweiz.Ent.Ges.1917.12.p.444.
Forewings upperside with the submarginal spots absent leaving only the two spots in the discoidal cell.
Ground colour of both fore and hindwings brownish, sometimes with a shimmer of copper or yellow.
Courvoisier intended this as a group name, not an individual aberration name as some authors use it.
= coeruleopunctata Strand.Nyt.Mag.f.Natur.1902.40.p.163.
= caerucuneata Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
Hindwings with a row of blue spots preceding the copper marginal band.
Under this heading Leeds makes his prize statement, which can hardly be taken seriously; it is given here I full: â€œHindwings markedly tailed. This is not confined to Tuttâ€™s typica-caudata, but as elsewhere, if good tailed specimens are wanted here, bring them in, whether anything else is typical or not, or they can go elsewhere ignoring their tailsâ€. Presumably he means that any specimen with a nice long tail can be called caudata.
The submarginal spots enlarged and moved in close to the discoidal, united directly to it and with each other, forming a large and central seriated blotch across the middle of the wing.
Hindwings with a triangular blue macule at the base, the tails well developed. Forewing with large spots.
Underside of hindwing with the top submarginal and top basal spots joined together by a streak.
= infra-extensa Tutt.Brit.Lep.1906.8.p.379.
Underside with the median spots partially stripe-like. Tuttâ€™s infra-extensa had the spots elongated into streaks pointing towards the base.
= aurocuneata Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
Hindwings with a row of coppery-red spots preceding the marginal band.
The ground colour brilliant brassy yellow. Tuttâ€™s description â€œpallide luteaâ€ is not the original, being taken from the 2nd edition. The colour would appear to be paler yellow than intermedia Tutt.
Left wings normal, the right ones white.
= basijuncta Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.50.
= antibasijuncta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
The union of the two discal spots on the underside of the forewing by a longitudinal line. Tutt chose an unfortunate name in disco-juncta since the figure shows the two spots are the basal ones, not the discoidal and middle spot as the name suggests. Courvoisierâ€™s name basijuncta is more appropriate but does not have priority.
On the forewings the third submarginal spot is connected with the discoidal spot. This is the third or lowest of the main group of three before the apex.
On the forewings apart from the costal spot, if present, the second submarginal spot is connected with the discoidal spot. All very vague. Presumably this is the middle spot of the three main spots, which lie before the apex. Leeds disregards Tuttâ€™s discojuncta and gives the same name to a completely different form.
Hindwings with a row of blue spots preceding the copper marginal band and with marked tails. Forewings of the eleus form suffused with blackish.
One long basal spot, not two joined by a streak.
Courvoisier intended this as a group name, not for a single aberration.
= antidiscoelongata Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.144.,desc.p.80.Mon.Coridon.
Forewings with the black spots of the transverse submarginal row enlarged or extended.
= parallela Courvoisier.Zts.Wiss.Ins.1907.3.p.36.
= radiata Frohawk.(nom.preoc.Tutt).Brit.Butts.1914.pl.46.f.29.
The submarginal spots of the forewing upperside elongated into streaks but in addition the second and third are longer and unite with the discoidal spot. Underside normal.
= fasciatus Cockerell.Entom.1889.22.p.99.,fig.Entom.11.p.24.
All the submarginal spots enormously enlarged and confluent, forming a broad black band, somewhat irregular, from the costa to inner margin, the discoidal spot being included and hidden in the band. The only separated spot is the basal.
Hindwings with a row of blue spots preceding the copper marginal band. Forewings with the submarginal spots enlarged, elongated and confluent, the discoidal hidden in the resulting wide central band.
The forewings normal copper coloured, the hindwings marginal band ochreous or straw.
Forewings normal copper coloured, the hindwing marginal band dull brownish.
= suffusa Tutt.Brit.Butts.1896.p.153.
= transiens Fuchs.Jahrb.Nass.Ver.Nat.1889.p.120.
= antieleus Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.
The ground colour suffused with blackish. It would seem impossible to separate these dark dusted forms unless the types exist which is most improbable. The description given above is of ab. fuscae Robson. Tuttâ€™s suffusa had the ground colour suffused with black in his first description. Later, in Brit.Lep.8.p.374 he adds, â€œthe discal area is still fulvous as are the bands of the hindwings which have no marked tailsâ€. Fuchâ€™s transiens was a form approaching the southern eleus, golden-brown with rich black dusting. Leeds, of course, had to step in with a further name, antieleus, which he admits is suffusa Tutt but describes it merely as â€œgreater in extent of dark dusting than antiinfraeleus Leeds but less than antiultraeleus Leedsâ€.
= antiatrescens Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.
Entirely suffused with blackish-brown, including the discal area, through which the fulvous tint shows only feebly. Hindwings with fulvous marginal border. Leeds states that his antiatrescens covers ab. fuscata Tutt.
Entirely suffused with blackish-brown and showing marked tails. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
= hubneri Tutt.Brit.Lep.1906.8.p.355.
Albino. The usual black markings replaced by white or whitish, the ground colour normal.
Ground colour intense fiery red.
Bright fiery-red ground and showing marked tails. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
Forewings with no basal spots. Presumably upper and underside. Leeds does not say.
= antiobsoletissima Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.144.
Upperside of forewings with no spots at all, the whole area of the wing being of a uniform copper colour. Leeds states that his antiobsoletissima covers impunctata Tutt.
Upperside of forewing showing a broad red streak via the discoidal spot, from the base to outer border, blackening the latter as in coridon [Chalk Hill Blue] ab. inaequalis Tutt.
Underside of the hindwing with the formation of costal and inner-marginal streaks. The figure shows one streak on the costa connecting the topmost submarginal spot with the middle costal spot, and another along the inner margin connecting the lowest submarginal spot with the lowest median spot. Both streaks are short, not reaching the basal spots.
Dark brownish or blackish along the inner margin across the twin-spot division of the forewings and with the marginal band of the hindwings dull. A completely superfluous name.
On the underside of the hindwings a sharp, contrasting red submarginal line.
The copper ground replaced by pale creamy drab, the spots and borders sooty, hindwing darker drab.
= antiinfraeleus Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.
The ground colour slightly suffused along costa, inner margin and the outer portions of the nervures, sometimes extending almost to the base.
Ground colour slightly suffused along costa, inner margin and outer portions of the nervures and showing marked tails. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
= pallidula Leeds.Mon.Coridon.Addenda.1941.p.142.
The ground colour brassy. Leeds makes this an upperside and underside form.
Brassy ground colour and showing marked tails. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
Spot or spots, streaks or patches of darker scaling but not of a faded description, appearing on a wing or wings. Pathological and unnecessary.
= antitransversa Leeds.Mon.Corid.1938.p.118.
The submarginal spots large and quadrate, united to each other directly or by short dark streaks along the nervures, so as to form a zigzag band transversely across the wings.
Both fore and hindwing on the underside showing a submarginal spot connecting with an extra spot.
The submarginal spots joined together transversely to form a zigzag band as in ab. juncta Tutt but with the hindwings showing marked tail.
The submarginal spots very large and elongated in a wedge-shaped manner towards the base and touching each other transversely.
The ground colour of both fore and hindwings straw or cream. Leeds says this covers schmidtii which Tutt erroneously described as being pale cream, lacticolor should therefore be cream and not straw which is too deep a colour. The underside has the forewings straw or cream and hindwings very pale.
= marginata Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.,desc.p.15.Mon.Coridon.
The black outer border of the forewings considerably broadened, extending towards the centre of the wings.
On the forewing the two lowest submedian spots (twin-spots) are placed more inwardly so that they are directly beneath the discoidal or even further inwards.
Forewing with the discoidal spot elongated from its centre or near and ending in a short point, streak or two points, either outwards towards the margin or towards the base.
Forewing with the discoidal spot elongated in one direction at its top, or bottom, or both, but never reaching either the submarginal spots or the basal spots.
= anticrassipuncta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.,desc.p.74.Mon.Coridon.
The submarginal spots of the forewings much larger but not actually united.
Large specimens over 32mm.
Forewing with wide dark marginal border extending beyond the discoidal cell and middle of wing towards the base, greater in extent than in ab. marginata Leeds.
= atrescens Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.
Forewings entirely brown except for a small area near the base. Hindwings with the whole or part of the marginal orange band absent. Leeds states that his atrescens covers melanophlaeas.
= minor Derenne.Lamb.1926.26.p.4.
= minutissimus Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.144.
Small specimens under 22mm. Leeds boldly states that Tuttâ€™s minor was too small for its name and should be minutissimus.
Small specimens under 26mm. Another absurdity.
Small, 22mm. Pale straw-yellow.
= inframarginata Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.
The marginal border of the forewings broad and much intensified at the apex, enclosing the three usual black spots.
The upperside ground colour is very paled and the usual black parts are pale leather-yellow the fringes completely white. The underside is more characteristic; on the forewing the apex and outer margin are white with a faint cream tint whilst the disc is fawn-yellow with the usual black spots. The hindwing has its whole surface white with a faint cream tint with a fine red antemarginal line. The underside of the abdomen, the legs and palpi are white.
= supra-minus-punctata OberthÃ¼r.Etudes.1896.20.p.13.pl.5.figs.72-73.
Forewing upperside with the submarginal spots partially or nearly completely absent.
Underside of the forewings with the marginal black chevrons absent or with only faint traces.
= extincta Fuchs.Jahrb.Nass.ver.Nat.1899.p.120.
= pusilla Ksien.Rhop.Sud.Oeste.Russe.1911.8.p.56.pl.1.f.10.
= auronulla Leeds.Mon.Corid.1938.p.117.
Hindwings with the copper marginal band completely absent. The pusilla Ksien. was merely a small example of this form and not worth separating.
Hindwings with a row of blue spots preceding the copper marginal band position. This copper band is completely absent.
The forewings normal copper coloured, the hindwings with the marginal band partly white.
Transitional to ab. radiata Tutt. Hindwings with the copper marginal band reduced and partly broken up into streaks.
Forewings normal copper coloured, the hindwing marginal band partly lighter, yellowish or straw. Probably a pathological form.
Upper and underside. Portions of a wing or wings bleached, or streaks, spots, patches which are thinly scaled or scaleless. Pathological and unnecessary.
= parvipuncta Courvoisier.Ent.Z.1911.24.p.263.
= antiparvipuncta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
Forewings with the spots very small, sometimes indicated by indistinct points. Differs from obliterata Scudder in the fact that all spots are present but small, in obliterata they are partially absent.
= obsoleta Leeds.(nom.preoc.Tutt).Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.144.,desc.p.83.Mon.Coridon.
The spots of the underside tending towards obsolescence.
Hindwing with the copper marginal band shorter, narrower or broader, as compared with the opposite wing. An absurd separation and name.
= albodescens Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
The forewings normal copper coloured, the hindwings with the marginal band white.
The ground colour of the underside of hindwings strongly grey.
Underside only. On the hindwing a postmedian spot is connected with an extra spot.
Ground colour of underside of hindwings somewhat similarly darkened as in ab. postpulla Leeds but more brown. One would imagine the name nigrescens would imply more black.
Hindwing underside with one or more of the submarginal spots absent or with one, two, or three basal spots also absent. Sometimes there are some of both absent.
Ground colour of underside of hindwings dark slaty or blackish, with barely a tint of brown.
Underside of hindwings with very distinct spots, some of them lengthened making their appearance erratic.
= antipurpureotincta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.142.
The deep copper ground colour tinged with purple.
Forewings with the submarginal spot just above the twin-spots well elongated or enlarged, the rest normal in size.
= auroradiata Leeds.Mon.Corid.1938.p.117.
Hindwings with the copper marginal band cut up into streaks or rays, wedge-shaped, their points towards the base.
= antico-radiata Derenne.Lamb.1931.31.pl.10.f.6.
= antiradiata Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.144.,desc.p.81.Mon.Coridon.
Underside of forewing with the submarginal black spots extended outwards to the margin to form streaks or bars.
On the forewing the submedian spots are placed in a straight line.
= punctis-nigris-remotis OberthÃ¼r.Etudes.1896.20.p.13.pl.5.f.75.
= antidiscreta Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.143.
Forewings with the submarginal spots thrown outwards towards the margins. Tuttâ€™s name is given priority although later than OberthÃ¼râ€™s since the latterâ€™s is more of a Latin description.
Forewings with the submarginal spots thrown outwards and elongated. Possibly Tutt did not intend this as a name since he merely says it is a combination of the remota-juncta characters.
Hindwings with a broad dark red, not red-gold, marginal band. This red continues along the veins in the shape of fine lines towards the base as far as the disc.
Upperside of the forewings with the outer borders reddish or red.
= alba Tutt.Brit.Lep.1906.8.p.353.
The ground colour white. Tutt states that schmidtii is cream in colour and gives the name alba to white examples. This is not correct. Gerhardtâ€™s figure is definitely white and he refers to the figure in Esperâ€™s Eur.Schmett.pl.1x.f.5 which is also white, the name alba therefore becomes a synonym.
Pale creamy ground and showing marked tails. Tutt erroneously concluded that schmidtii was cream and not white. See schmidtii. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
The ground colour normal copper but with two streaks of creamy-yellow from the base of the forewing, one along the inner margin, the other via the discoidal spot to the apex. Probably pathological.
Underside of forewing with dribbled spots between a basal spot and a submarginal spot.
Forewings with the submarginal spots only feebly indicated on one side, on the other the three apical spots are normal. The marginal border is wide and the discoidal spot and basal spot are prominent. The hindwings are of the obsoleta Tutt trend but the band is not completely gone, it being considerably narrowed. Generally speaking it is a combination of latomarginata Tutt plus bipunctata Tutt transitional to ab. obsoleta Tutt.
Forewings silvery or with one forewing white. Presumably the hindwings are normal copper coloured on the band. The description is bad since there are two forms included, if both forewings are white or silvery it is the same as antero-alba Tutt, if only one wing it is probably pathological. The name is best ignored.
Hindwing underside with a shortish mark or divided line attempting to connect the third basal spot with the opposite submarginal spot.
Underside of forewing with two rows of dribbled spots which attempt to connect the basal spots to the submarginal ones as in coridon [Chalk Hill Blue]. It is difficult to imagine this in phlaeas. Probably a hypothetical form.
Underside of hindwing with the top submarginal and top basal spot elongated towards each other but failing to meet.
On the underside of the forewing the black spots are absent.
Hindwings with delicate coppery streaks extending for a short distance along the nervures from the copper marginal band towards the base. Very similar to ab. rubrohastata Stauder but the streaks would appear to be much shorter, in rubrohastata they reach the disc so must be exceptionally long.
Upper and underside. Forewing with bleached, thinner or defectively scaled patch which must commence at the apex. A ridiculous and unnecessary name. Pathological.
The figure shows all spots of the underside absent except the discoidal spot of the forewing, which is white-centered.
Possibly one of Leeds most irresponsible contributions. He calmly alters Tuttâ€™s suffusa to antieleus and then gives the name suffusa to a totally different form which is a pathological one and does not even require a name. This he says is â€œthe standard suffusaâ€. It is described as having the scaling thin with the spots of the underside showing through as in ab. transparens Leeds, but of a coloured form instead of typical.
= radiata Spuler.(nom.preoc.Tutt).Schmett.Eur.1902.1.p.58.
The submarginal spots elongated into streaks pointing towards the base. In OberthÃ¼râ€™s figure these are fairly long and thin.
Upper and underside. All wings mistily diffused dimming the colour, the scaling defective but not having a greasy appearance. Pathological and unnecessary.
Underside of both fore and hindwings with the submarginal spots erratic in shape.
Upperside. Scaling thin with the spots of the underside showing through, ground colour typical. Pathological.
Three definite basal spots, mostly on one wing only. This must surely be confined to the underside but Leeds, with his usual clarity, does not say so.
Of the typical form but showing marked tails. Tutt separated the [caudata] forms by the presence of marked tails but there are so many intermediate examples that the names would appear unnecessary.
Forewings dark brownish or blackish except for a distinct stripe of yellowish or copper from the basal area via the discoidal towards the outer border. Hindwings with marginal dull band.
Upperside of forewings with the outer borders broadly red and the red marginal bands of the hindwings much enlarged.
Underside only. Forewing with only one basal spot instead of the normal two. Tuttâ€™s name unipunctata is so similar that it is unfortunate, but typical, of Leeds that he should confuse literature still more by using this name for such a completely different form.
= anticaeca Leeds.Mon.Corid.Addenda.1941.p.144.
All the spots of the forewing upperside absent except the discoidal. Leeds states that his anticaeca covers ab. unipunctata Tutt.
The ground colour normal, the spots sooty, other parts creamy drab.