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Butterfly Brown Hairstreak

Brown Hairstreak - Photo  Copyright 2005 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
An ideal way to catch and observe butterflies without harming them is with a special butterfly net - click here


Latin name: Thecla betulae

Size: Wingspan up to 38mms

Distribution: Found mainly in wooded areas of southern England and south west Wales.

Months seen: July to October

Food: Nectar. The larvae feed on blackthorn.

Habitat: Hedgerows and the edges of woodlands.

Special features: The brown hairstreak is the largest of our native hairstreak butterflies.

In the male, the upper surfaces of the wings are all brown except for the orange tails. In the females, the upper surfaces of each forewing features a wide, bright orange band. The females also have the orange tails. The undersides of the wings, in both sexes, feature the characteristic white 'hairstreak' line.

The females are easier to spot. On sunny days they feed on the nectar of wild flowers. The males tend to perch high in tree tops.

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UK Safari Butterfly Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved