Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)


The Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) is a small and colorful butterfly belonging to the family Lycaenidae. Here are some key features and characteristics of the Green Hairstreak:

  1. Appearance: The Green Hairstreak butterfly has a wingspan of approximately 25 to 35 millimeters (1 to 1.4 inches). Its upper wings are dull brown with a subtle iridescence, while the undersides are vibrant green, giving the butterfly its name. There are small white spots along the wings, and the hindwings typically have a fine line of orange spots near the margins.
  2. Habitat: Green Hairstreak butterflies inhabit a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, heathlands, moorlands, scrublands, and woodland edges. They are often found in areas with abundant nectar sources and suitable larval food plants.
  3. Distribution: Green Hairstreak butterflies are widespread across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They are commonly found throughout the British Isles and mainland Europe, as well as in parts of Asia and North Africa. Their distribution may vary depending on local environmental conditions and the availability of suitable habitat.
  4. Lifecycle: Green Hairstreak butterflies undergo complete metamorphosis, consisting of egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult stages. The female butterfly lays eggs on the leaves of specific host plants, which are typically species of plants in the Fabaceae family, such as gorse (Ulex spp.) and broom (Cytisus spp.). The caterpillars feed on the leaves of these plants before pupating and emerging as adult butterflies.
  5. Feeding: As adults, Green Hairstreak butterflies primarily feed on the nectar of flowers, using their long proboscis to extract nectar from deep within the flower. They are known to visit a variety of flowering plants, including wildflowers such as violets, primroses, and thistles.
  6. Behavior: Green Hairstreak butterflies are relatively weak flyers and are often seen fluttering low to the ground among vegetation. They have a rapid, erratic flight pattern and may be difficult to spot when resting with their wings closed, as their green undersides provide excellent camouflage against leaf litter and vegetation.
  7. Conservation: While the Green Hairstreak butterfly is not considered globally threatened, certain populations may be at risk due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and changes in land use practices. Conservation efforts focused on preserving and restoring suitable habitat, including the management of grasslands and heathlands, can help support populations of this butterfly species.

Overall, the Green Hairstreak butterfly is a delightful and ecologically important species valued for its beauty and role in pollination. Its presence in diverse habitats adds to the biodiversity and natural beauty of the landscapes it inhabits.

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