A group of grey copper butterflies feeding on a flower

Gossamer-winged butterflies

Gossamer-winged butterflies are a very large family of butterflies with delicate shimmering wings. The adults are usually small and brightly coloured and include all the blues, coppers, hairstreaks, sunbeams and harvesters. In many species the caterpillars depend on ants for various services, including protection, and will produce a sugary secretion to attract these little helpers. This is the second largest family of butterflies, containing more than 5,000 species, many of which are now quite rare.

Scientific name: Lycaenidae

Rank: Family