Butterflies of Scotland
- Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

Green Hairstreak Butterfly
Graphic via Wikimedia

This small butterfly (wingspan is only 2.5 centimetres) is often missed because of its size and because of its green colour providing camouflage amongst trees. Admittedly, the green undersides are a vivid iridescent metallic green - which are often edged in tan brown, with white spots forming a feint white 'streak' on the hind wings. The extent of the white marking is highly variable and on some individuals almost absent. The upper sides of its wings are brown, but this is rarely seen since the Green Hairstreak always closes its wings when not in flight.

Its flight is rapid and jerky making it difficult to follow. Females are more often seen when searching for larval food plants upon which to lay their single pale green eggs. The green and yellow larvae drop to the ground to pupate in late summer and overwinter as a pupae with the Adult butterflies emerging in late spring.

The Green Hairstreak is found on scrubby grassland, woodland clearings, heathland moorland, bogs, old quarries and railway cuttings. Although Green Hairstreak is found in many areas, it often occurs in small colonies. In Scotland it is in flight from April to June and survives for only about two weeks.

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