Brown and purple butterfly on a tree leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona took this shot on 009/07/2019 at our Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve, and says there were well over 100 Purple Hairstreaks coming down to a low level, especially on the Alder Buckthorn. As Purple Hairstreaks usually spend a lot of their time high in the tree tops, this must have been a superb sight.

Shona points out that the fact that a chunk of hindwing is missing gives us a better-than-usual view of the butterfly’s abdomen. This is a female, shown by the mainly brown with a splash of purple colouring of the upper wings: the male is purple all over, though this is only visible when the light catches it at the right angle.

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