Green Hairstreak

After last weekend’s glorious weather things have gone downhill, rapidly, here in north Norfolk.  So much so that a warning is in place for possible flooding, up to 70mm (nearly 3 inches) of rain and gale force northerly winds overnight and into tomorrow, it is also cold!  I have decided to do a post on what was a popular butterfly from last weeks post, the Green Hairstreak ( Callophrys rubi).

The Green Hairstreak, cuteness personified

If Walt Disney was to use a butterfly for a cartoon what better candidate.  Just look at those big innocent eyes and cute striped legs and antenna, but this fellow has a vicious temper!  It is a small butterfly, wingspan 27 – 34mm  1 to 1 1/2 inches.  It can be found in  small colonies of up to 12 individuals (sometimes more) in a variety of scrubby  habitat like gorse commons, moorland, embankments and valley bottoms.  In Europe the range is from Lapland to the Med.

This is the UK’s only true green butterfly and because of the colour is very hard to spot, the upperwing is dark brown but they always rest with the wings closed.  When you do locate Green Hairsreaks they are very easy to approach and photograph.  The males sit on favorite perches waiting for a female, if another male passes a battle ensues!  They also attack other butterflies and insects, last week it was the Holly Blues that were chased away, because of this their wings soon become battle scarred.

hg DSC_0279a
From 2017

These butterflies start to appear in mid-April and can be found into June.  They are great fun to watch, last week I spent over an hour amused by the antics of the one I found and was able to photograph it from only a few inches.

33 thoughts on “Green Hairstreak

  1. Very envious Brian.Here on the Isle of Wight the GH is always uot in April (except 2013 when it was first seen at my perferred site on 2nd May)It will lucky to make it by that date this year.
    Excellent photos and written post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing, a real beauty and so well photographed that you can see all details. I´ll take my camera and search for butterflies at Manoel Island this afternoon, wish me luck 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You mentioned Disney and The Beast’s bad temper; the headline popped unprompted into my mind  “Photographer mobbed to death by flock of irate butterflies” — it’s a jungle out there, be careful …

    Liked by 1 person

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