Purple Hairstreak

Name: Purple Hairstreak

Scientific name: Neozephyrus quercus

Category: Minibeasts

Nature Stars: 70

What are nature stars?

About: A small butterfly, with a wingspan of about 3.5cm. Adults fly in the summer between the end of June and early September. A rarely seen butterfly, it spends most of its time perched on leaves at the very tops of oak trees. Very occasionally they do come down to ground level, although they are best looked for with binoculars when males can sometimes be seen chasing each other in the tree tops. Found in oak woods and on single oak trees in parkland or along hedgerows.

How to identify: If seen well, unmistakeable. Females are black above, with a purple patch on the fore wings, while males are almost entirely purple above with a black border. Underside is a silvery grey, with an orange eye spot on the hind wing.

Where: Fairly widespread in England, Wales and southern and central Scotland.

Natural Superpowers

  • Predator: 10
  • Agility: 70
  • Rarity: 50
  • Cute factor: 50
  • Traveller: 50

Fantastic fact: This is the only British butterfly entirely reliant on the oak tree.

Photograph credit: Keith Warmington/www.warmies.co.uk

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