The green hairstreak

I went up onto Dartmoor yesterday to enjoy the sunshine. I was at the far end of Fernworthy Reservoir and came across a couple of green hairstreak butterflies.

Green hairstreak 2
Green hairstreaks always rest with the wings closed – the underside of the wings are this powdery green. This individual has had a piece of its wing clipped out by a bird.

Green hairstreak 3
This one has lost even more and as a result it exposes the upper side of the wing which is brown and is only ever fleetingly seen when the butterfly flies.

According to Butterfly Conservation the green hairstreak has the widest range of foodplants of any British species, which includes Bilberry, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Broom, Common Rock-rose, Dogwood, Bramble, Dyer’s Greenweed and Gorse.

The green hairstreak is the commonest of our hairstreak species and lives in a variety of habitats where its food plants are present.


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