Purple Hairstreak - Favonius quercus

    Alternative names
    Neozephyrus quercus

    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.

    Identification difficulty

    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.

    61.004 BF1557

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map