Monday, 9 January 2017

Green Hairstreak

Green Hairstreaks are our only green butterfly and can be found throughout the U.K. They fly from late April-June and possibly early July. Like other Hairstreaks in Britain they have only one brood a year. The white hairstreaks [dots] on each of the hind wings [and how they get their name] can vary greatly from one butterfly to another. The male and female are similar having brown upper wings and green undersides. They always land, feed etc. with closed wings. The males can quite often be found alleviated on a perch over looking his domain, warding off any other intruding males.

A male Green Hairstreak over looking his territory

A female on Greater Stitchwort
 n early spring Bluebells are a favourite source of nectar, and when these flowers wither and die they can be found on anther favourite, Wood Spurge, other flowers are also visited including another woodland species, Greater Stitchwort.

A Green Hairstreak on Bluebell
Green Hairstreak  feeding on Wood Spurge
  The females lay their eggs [ovum] on a number of plants including Gorse, Broom, Dyers Greenweed and Bird's-foot Trefoil, Common Buckthorn etc. The eggs hatch between 10-14 days. The larval stage lasts about 3.5 weeks and, they overwinter as a pupa, the only member of the Hairstreak family to do this in the U.K.

Female  looking to lay an egg on Dyers Greenweed

Female about to lay an egg on Broom

Green Hairstreak egg on Broom

A newly emerged 1st instar Green Hairstreak larva

All photographs are the copyright of Nick Broomer

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