Green Hairstreak Butterfly

Claire Beale, one of the Trust’s rangers, was delighted to see a Green Hairstreak Butterfly (Callophrys rubi) on Thursday 20 April.  She wrote “I’ve hardly ever seen them and just by chance I stopped to look at some hawthorn blossom which has just come out on North Down, on the Youth Wood margin.  There it was in front of me and I was able to take some photos.”

Claire has checked back through the records recorded since 2015, initially by Barbara Massingham-Stubbs and, more recently, by Andrew Knights, Ed Pollard and William McEwan.  There were no sightings until 2019, none in 2020, just one in 2021, but nine in 2022.  Fingers crossed that the Green Hairstreak is becoming established at Magog Down and that more sightings will be made this spring and summer.

It is a small butterfly and usually found in small colonies.  On calcareous grassland, Butterfly Conservation says that the caterpillars will feed on Common Rockrose and Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil.