Purple Hairstreak - Neozephyrus quercus

Description

The Purple Hairstreak is our commonest Hairstreak but is not often noticed. Males have a purple upper wings whereas females have just a purple patch. The underwings are similar in both sexes, being lilac-brown crossed by a white 'hair-streak' and with an orange eye-spot next to a small tail streamer.

Photo ID?
Habitat

Found around oak trees. It is often difficult to locate, due to its habit of flying in the tree canopy; however, the adults are occasionally seen basking at lower levels, on various small trees, shrubs and bracken.

When to see it

Late June to early September

Life History

The adults feed on honeydew in the tree canopy and the larvae feed on oak buds.

UK Status

This butterfly is found across southern England and Wales, with scattered colonies further north

VC55 Status

Fairly common but under-recorded.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map