Green hairstreak butterfly

The green hairstreak is the only green coloured butterfly in the UK

The green hairstreak butterfly is the only green coloured butterfly in the UK. It prefers the thick soils and lightly grazed areas on the non-southerly facing slopes on the Commons.

This small, fairly shy butterfly likes to spend most of its time perched on vegetation sunbathing. It only opens its wings when it flies from one place to another. If you see it in flight you'll notice that the upperside of its wings are actually brown.

Butterfly spotting

The adults can be seen flying near the scrubby areas of the Commons between April and June. The male butterflies can often be seen chasing each other in the sun.

The green hairstreak is a shy butterfly
The green hairstreak is a shy butterfly
The green hairstreak is a shy butterfly

The scrubs make a perfect habitat for the green hairstreak. Before pupating, the caterpillars feed on a variety of plants in the scrubs including gorse and broom.

Declining fortunes

Sadly, numbers of green hairstreaks are falling. The scrub is vital to its survival on the Commons. It's important we manage it so that they can be spotted for many more years to come.