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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

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
  • Habitat
  • Status
  • Key Sites
  • Links
  • Photographs

Oak (Quercus)

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
Wappenbury Wood
Weddington disused railway, Nuneaton
Windmill Hill, Blast Bank, Nuneaton
Woodlands Quarry, Hartsthill, Nuneaton

Find out more about the Purple Hairstreak online at the following links;

Flight Chart
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.

Purple Hairstreak Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

Purple Hairstreak - 2011 records / distribution. Purple Hairstreak - 2010 records / distribution. Purple Hairstreak - 2000 to 2009 records / distribution.
2011 (1yr) 2010 (1yr) 2000-09 (10yr)

Purple HairstreakPurple Hairstreak © John Carter - Oversley Wood, Warwickshire

Annual First Sightings
First sighting dates are based on records of Purple Hairstreak submitted online. Please note that these dates are not updated retrospectively to include records submitted to the branch recorder in other forms.

17/06/2018 Ryton Meadows

17/06/2017 Wappenbury Wood

24/06/2016 Oversley Green

03/07/2015 Ryton Wood

29/06/2014 Ryton Wood

12/07/2013 Ryton Wood

12/07/2012 Blooms Garden Centre, Nr Dunchurch

14/06/2011 Weddington Disused Railway

25/06/2010 Oversley Wood

28/06/2009 Oversley Wood

04/07/2008 Ryton Wood

28/06/2007 Ryton Wood

Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.