Tag Archives: white-letter hairstreak

Brown butterfly with white and orange markings nectaring on a white bramble flower

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Paul Swann

Paul went to Alners Gorse yesterday, 29/06/2020 and has sent us this photo with the following comments:

Dearth of sunshine but very sheltered out of the wind so surprisingly good action especially on the Rooksmoor bramble (lots of Silver-washed Fritillaries and a few White Admirals). It only takes one good view to make it a White-letter day though – low on a bramble opposite the Elm hedge.

 

                

Brown butterfly with some orange and white markings resting on a bramble flower

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

Brown butterfly with orange and white markings nectaring on a white bramble flower

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Shona Refoy

It was a case of mission accomplished at Alner’s Gorse for Shona:

Having failed to see any White-letter Hairstreaks last year, I was delighted to see some at Alners Gorse yesterday, 24/06/2020.  These two were nectaring on the same patch of Bramble for some time. The first photo is of a female with her long tails, the second is of a male (shorter tails).  Many thanks to Dave for allowing me to stand in front of him to take the photos!

Help us find Elm trees in Dorset

Mid-brown butterfly with white lines and orange spots, plus a tail.
White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

White-letter Hairstreak butterflies are quite rare in Dorset; their caterpillars breed on elm trees, so finding the trees will help us find the butterflies. You can help us map some of the remaining healthy Elm trees in Dorset and by so doing help us locate some of our missing White-letter Hairstreaks (WLH) Continue reading

White-letter Hairstreak, Harman’s Cross

Brown Butterfly with tails and orange spots with a white W on underwings

White Letter Hairstreak. Photo: Brian Arnold,

Brian found this White-letter Hairstreak near his home  at Harman’s Cross on 12/07/19  and says:

It was sat beneath the Elm trees nectaring on Creeping Thistle, and waited there for about 20 minutes allowing me to get lots of nice photos. I assume it is a female as the tails are quite long.

purple and charcoal butterfly with wings open

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Paul Swann

brown bitterfly with white lines on wings as in a W and orange spots on hind wings

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Paul Swann

On 1/07/19 Paul visited Alners Gorse and tells us:

Literally my first purple hairstreak of the year and probably wont get a better view all summer than this one nestled in the grass below the Elm hedge.

Also in the afternoon when the sun finally came out,one of 4 White -letter Hairstreaks nectaring on the bramble.

Paul must have been very pleased as it’s not often you see a  Purple Hairstreak with open wings.

Alners Gorse is a great reserve for the four Hairstreaks we can see in Dorset. Green, Purple, White-letter and Brown emerging in that order from May through to August.

view of a brown butterfly  with orange spots and white W shaped lines on lower wings

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Luc Mitchem

Luc visited Alners Gorse on 29/06/19 and sent us this lovely photo of our first White-letter Hairstreak for the gallery this year.This species is mostly found on Wych Elm in Dorset as many of our Elms, which they also favour, were lost to Elm disease years ago.

However they do sometimes come down to ground level to nectar on flowers which make them easier to spot and photograph.

This species can be found from mid June- late July .

view of a White-letter Hairstreak resting on green foliage

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Caroline Stringer

Caroline sent us this photo of a White-letter Hairstreak  which she photographed at Alners Gorse at the end of June 2018.

This is a particularly lovely shot allowing us to clearly see its markings as this is one of our more elusive butterflies often found flitting high in the treetops, and appearing as a dark speck against the sky. It gets its name from the letter “W” that is formed from a series of white lines found on the underside of the hindwings.

vuiew of a White-letter Hairstreak hanging upside down under a bramble stem with wings closed showing underwing pattern

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Caroline Stringer

Caroline visited Alners Gorse at the end of June and photographed this pristine White-letter Hairstreak.

Caroline was lucky that day,finding this butterfly on brambles as the White-letter Hairstreak is one of our more-elusive butterflies and flits high in the treetops, often appearing as a dark speck against the sky.It gets its name from the letter “W” that is formed from a series of white lines found on the underside of the hindwings.

The adults emerge toward the end of June, building up to a peak in mid-July. There is one brood each year.

view of a White-letter Hairstreak resting on a leaf showing the undersides of its wings and the diagnostic markings

White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark found this White-letter Hairstreak at Alners Gorse, its Dorset stronghold, on 19/07/18.

The White-letter Hairstreak is one of our more-elusive butterflies as it flits high in the treetops, often appearing as a dark speck against the sky. It gets its name from the letter “W” that is formed from a series of white lines found on the underside of the hindwings.