In Britain we only have 5 species of Hairstreak butterflies, with none being easy to find and view. The most widespread being the Green Hairstreak that occurs over most of Britain, and the most restricted is the Black Hairstreak that occurs in woodlands that has Blackthorn thickets, from the Oxford area to the Peterborough area.

 

 

The Black Hairstreak is the rarest of our Hairstreak butterflies, being restricted to woodlands with blackthorn thickets between Oxford and the Peterborough area. Where it does occur it can be plentiful in certain years.

 

The Brown Hairstreak is usually seen at close quarters when it comes down from the tree tops to nectar on flowers, and when females are egg laying on Blackthorn bushes. This female is sunning it's self on blackthorn leaves.

 

The Green Hairstreak is the most common butterfly of this small family, found in habitats well into lowland Scotland.

 

The most easy Hairstreak to view at close range is the White-letter Hairstreak that frequently visits thistle or bramble flowers. This butterfly only occurs around Elm trees, on which it's caterpillar feeds.

 

Above a male Purple Hairstreak sunning its self on a Oak leaf, and below a female.

The female Purple Hairstreak is a very striking butterfly.

The above Purple Hairstreak is feeding on honeydew, the main food of the adult butterfly. Note the false eye mark on the hindwing.

All pictures are Copyright of Richard Revels FRPS