Butterflies - Purple Hairstreak (Favonius quercus)
There is one brood per year which can be seen from the beginning of July through to mid September.
Although this butterfly is described as being quite common in favorable locations, its habit of living high in the tree canopy means it is rarely encountered. You will sometimes see this butterfly feeding on honeydew deposited by aphids lower down, especially during long hot summers.
Look around the tops of Oak trees (even isolated Oaks may support a small colony) during the flight period where you may see several in flight. Binoculars recommended!!
Please note that the scientific (latin) name for the Purple Hairstreak changed in 2011 from Neozephyrus quercus to Favonius quercus.
- Larval Food Plants
- Key Sites
The Purple Hairstreak is found in woodland where Oak trees occur. It is also possible for a single Oak tree with no other woodland around to support small colonies. Disused railway lines where semi-mature Oaks exist can also support colonies of this small and elusive butterfly.
Resident in Warwickshire.
Weddington (North) Disused Railway Line
Baxterley to Bentley Lane
Hartshill Hayes, Nuneaton
Pagets Lane nr Wappenbury Wood
Pooley Fields, Alvecote
Ryton Pools Country Park
Ryton Wood (SSSI)
Snitterfield Bushes SSSI
Ufton Fields SSSI
Weddington disused railway, Nuneaton
Windmill Hill, Blast Bank, Nuneaton
Woodlands Quarry, Hartsthill, Nuneaton
A photographic slideshow displaying various images of the Purple Hairstreak is currently in development.
Details of how you can supply your own photographs for display here will be made available soon.
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Purple Hairstreak butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.