Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Green Hairstreak Butterfly

(1) Green Hairstreak Butterfly
(1) Green Hairstreak Butterfly
(2) Green Hairstreak
(2) Green Hairstreak
(3) Green Hairstreak
(3) Green Hairstreak
4) Green Hairstreak
4) Green Hairstreak
(5) Green Hairstreak
(5) Green Hairstreak

 

 

The Green Hairstreak Butterfly.
One May day a few years ago as I was walking over Scoulag Moor, I noticed this small, what I thought was a moth on the whin bush flowers but it turned out to be a Butterfly, and the smallest that I had seen to date.

 


It was only 27-34mm, or roughly an inch to an inch and a quarter. It was a very bright green and it always sits with its wings closed, and it can be difficult to spot, as part of the whin bushes look just like it, so it has a good camouflage unlike some which stand out like a sore thumb, but I am not complaining it is just an observation. It gets its name from the white streak down its wing, and there is another one called a Purple Hairstreak but it frequents the canopy of the oak trees and seldom seen on lower levels, but you never know, as one seemed to have been blown into a burn and was rescued by a passing local couple, who dried it of then released it and that was a first for Bute, so I will keep my eyes on the ground, and now also the burns where there are oak trees?


It prefers warm sheltered spots, and as it lands it always faces the sun to get warmed up especially early morning. It is happy in open woodland or in this case moorland and the caterpillars of this butterfly main foodplant is blaeberry, which is normally found amongst the heather.


Photo taken, then it was a long time till I got another chance to see one again, and not only one , I got 22 of them in one area of Scoulag Moor , and all were resting or feeding on whin bushes. Very quickly I found out that when disturbed by an overzealous photographer, they settled down within seconds, so this was a good way to find them, ‘hit the bush ‘and if any were there they flew a few yards then alighted on the same or nearby whin bush. Life would be a lot easier if other butterflies did the same.


Well this year was no different with plenty of them, not over the moor where I found them last year, but beside the Landover track, which I thought was quite decent of them, and I got plenty for my camera.


Their time on this earth is very short, with them emerging early May, until mid-June. Not a long time for them, and other butterflies and moths have the same short time on this earth.
Well it is near the time that they will all have gone but leaving plenty of eggs to hatch out next year, but , I have managed to get quite a few species to write about, so hopefully you will see them during the coming winter months, and hoping that it is better than the last one as that was pretty severe, and it curtailed my walking.


Norrie Mulholland

 

First Published in the Buteman 04-11-2011

 


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