Tag Archives: Purple Hairstreak

Purple Hairstreak at Alners Gorse

Purple Hairstreak, looking dark brown, with wings fully open

Purple Hairsteak. Photo: Richard Belding

The Purple Hairstreaks at our Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve are being very obliging – it’s rare to be able to catch photos like this.Taken on 10/07/2017.

A photo of a Purple Hairstreak with open wings we published a few days ago looked quite purply-blue, so it’s interesting to see this one, which looks such a plain brown. It is presumably a female, though they usually have a purple streak on the forewing. The angle at which the photo is taken can make quite a difference.

It’s time to Hunt the Hairstreak

Greyis butterfly with white lines and an orange dot, on a leaf.
Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Malcolm Wemyss

Dorset has four of the five Hairstreaks: the Green, the Brown, the Purple and the White-letter. The Green is out earlier in the year, but the White-letter and the Purple are out now, and we need help recording them for different reasons. Continue reading

Purple Hairstreak Alners Gorse

Greyis butterfly with white lines and an orange dot, on a leaf.

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Malcolm Wemyss

Malcolm says: “Purple Hairstreaks have been really numerous on Alners Gorse, unusually descending from the oak canopy and settling around eye level. This has provided an unprecedented opportunity to take smartphone pictures, so here’s one on buckthorn.” Taken on 08/07/2017

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Richard Belding

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Richard Belding

A Purple Hairstreak, photographed at our Alners Gorse reserve on 14/07/2016 by Richard Belding. If you are going hunting for these butterflies, which spend most of their time at tree top level, try looking at the tops of oak trees in the early evening, when they may be see whirling around “like silver pennies”

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Purple Hairstreak at Lydlinch

Very dark small butterfly clinging to a grass stalk

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Brown

This was found by Mark Brown on the Lydlinch Butterfly walk on 25 June, which is probably the first Dorset record this year. We guess it was freshly emerged from an underground pupa attended by ants, which thanks to Jeremy Thomas’ researches seems now to be the accepted life story.

No Purple Hairstreak has yet been reported to the website – get those binoculars out! More information on our species page.

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