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butterfly Green Hairstreak Butterflies

Identify It >   Butterfly Section >   Green Hairstreak Butterflies >

Scientific name:  Callophrys rubi

Size:  Wingspan approximately 28mm

Distribution:  Found throughout most of the UK but in small numbers

Months seen:  April to July

Life span:  Up to eight months

Habitat:  Heathland and meadows

Food:  Nectar.  The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants including; bramble, broom, bilberries, gorse, bird's-foot trefoil and vetch

Special features:  Green Hairstreaks are the only butterflies to have completely green coloured scales on the undersides of their wings.  The upper surfaces of the wings are brown.  Males have a light grey coloured scent patch at the front of each forewing on the upper surface.  This is the only noticeable difference between the two sexes.

The bright green caterpillars grow to approximately 15mm.  They spend the winter as a chrysalis, often underground inside ant nests.  The chrysalis is able to communicate with the ants via a sound organ which makes a series of clicking sounds - just audible to the human ear.

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