Black Hairstreak - Satyrium pruni


The underwings are brown with a tinge of gold and the borders are orange, with a row of black spots, a white streak down each wing and small tails. The upperwings are only ever visible in flight (the butterfly always settles with its wings closed) and are brown with an orange patch on each forewing and orange tails on the lower wings.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

A good photograph will be needed to support records of this rare species.


In thickets of Blackthorn in woodlands on heavy clay soils. The adults spend nearly all their time in the canopies of trees or dense scrub, where they feed on honeydew secreted by aphids.

When to see it

The adults may be seen mainly in June - at  certain times they make short looping flights in and out of the tree tops, with a peak of activity around midday.

UK Status

Mostly concentrated in an area between Oxford and Peterborough in the East Midlands. Even within this small range it has declined recently.

VC55 Status

Rare in VC55 - restricted to small area in south Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map