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Green Hairstreak Butterfly

Green Hairstreak Butterfly

green hairstreak callophrys rubi by Iain Leach


This stunning emerald green butterfly is on the wing now

Have you seen one? Please let us know if you have

This butterfly keeps its wings closed, except when in flight. The vivid green underside has a faint white streak but this is variable and may just appear as a few white dots or not at all

Males and females look similar and told apart by their behaviour: rival males can be seen in a spiralling flight close to shrubs, whilst the less conspicuous female can be observed whilst laying their eggs

This species is widespread in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland but it is not really a garden visitor so look out for it on your walks. It occurs in small colonies and its distribution is down by 30% since 1970s

Its habitats include chalk grasslands, woodland rides and clearings, heathland, moorland, bogs, railways cuttings, old quarries and scrubland

Common food plants include Common Rock-rose, Common Bird’s Foot Trefoil in grassland environments as well as Gorse, Broom and Dyer’s Greenweed on heathland habitats, Bilberry is used almost exclusively on moorland and throughout Scotland. Other food plants include Dogwoods, Buckthorn and Brambles

Candida Hopkinson

Photograph by Iain Leach

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