Species of the Month - May 2011

Green Hairstreak

Callophrys rubi

The Green Hairstreak butterfly is only on the wing for a short time; most sightings are in May.  It likes open country with some scrubby trees, especially birch.  It is well camouflaged against the leaves when at rest, but the butterflies are usually very active in fine weather, and sometimes occur in large numbers.

The uppersides of the wings are brown and the undersides green.  At rest you only see the undersides, in flight you see both.  It's very difficult to get a photo of the upperside.  Google Images doesn't bring up any live ones with wings open, but this page has pinned specimens showing both sides.

Callophrys rubi   Callophrys rubi


Callophrys rubi

More info on http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=rubi   The association with ants (under "Pupa") is interesting.

The species is declining nationally so it is worth building up a picture of what kind of habitats they like in this area, and where their colonies are found.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Number seen 
Any other details, e.g habitat, behaviour 


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Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager


Sightings so far

Catherine MacLeod saw some in Applecross on 4 May.

Ian Strachan saw lots at Loch Eil around 11-12 May.

31 May - no reports from Argyll this month.  The second half of the month has been very windy and wet so not much chance of seeing them.

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock
Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

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All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated