Green hairstreak Callophrys rubi

Best time to see: mid May to late Jun

Key facts

Little butterfly with bright green underwings

Habitat: lowland heath, woods and scrubby wasteland

Most widely distributed hairstreak, widespread in the south-west of Britain, localised elsewhere


Bright green underside; upperwings plain brown

Always sits with wings tight closed; rapid jerky flight, often returning to same perch

Territorial, perching in the sun on prominent shrubs; wingspan c. 3 cm


Pale green eggs inserted singly into buds of foodplants such as gorse or dogwood in early summer

Green and yellow caterpillars live openly on foodplants, dropping to the ground to pupate in late summer

Chrysalis over-winters, often in ant nests, adults emerging in late spring

© Gordon Chalk