Monday, 18 April 2016

Purple Hairstreak 1st instar caterpillar

 The ovum, [eggs] of the Purple Hairstreak are laid just below an Oak leaf bud in the Summer and overwinter at this stage.
Purple Hairstreak ovum
The larva emerge in the Spring, early April.

April 2nd the tiny larva has just started to eat it's way out 
After the tiny 1st instar larva hatch they normally eat their way into a leaf bud where it feeds completely hidden, but this is not always the case. As you can see in the following photos.

This 1st instar larva has just emerged [first day, April 3rd] and already started to eat it's
way into a leaf bud
By the second day the 1st instar purple Hairstreak larva has taken on a totally new appearance
and, in this case has chosen to feed/live on the outside of the Oak leaf bud instead of being
concealed with-in the bud
This 1st instar Purple Hairstreak larva at 6 days has changed in appearance again and,
will stay like this until it's first moult when it will become a 2nd instar larva
After the first moult the 2nd, 3rd and 4th instars all feed in the open, but are very difficult to locate.


  1. Excellent shots and a very interesting text having a deeper insight into these insects arousing more interest than ever. This high standard work must enthuse many of those younger (and older) who one day may help the continuation and stop the decline of our native species.

    1. Hi Keith, thats very kind and, appreciated. Thank you. Thats the whole point of my blog Keith, to help educate. Thank you again. Nick.