Callophrys rubi(Linnaeus, 1758) / Green Hairstreak / Grüner Zipfelfalter oder Brombeer-Zipfelfalter / Groentje / L'Argus Vert ou La Thécla de la ronce.
The upperside is a uniform dull brown with two paler patches on the males forwings made up of scent scales. The undersides are a bright green with a thin white line, often reduced to a faint row of dots or even missing altogether. They never rest with their wings open.
Life cycle and foodplants:
It has what is probably one of the largest range of fooplants of any British butterfly.Depending on the habitat they will use Rubus fruticosus,Common Rock Rose Helianthemum nummularium, Birds-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus, Gorze Ulex europeans, Broom Cytisus scoparius, Dyer's Greenwood Genista tinctoria, Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus, Dogwood Cornus sanguinea, Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica, Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix and Bramble. This range of foodplants means that they are able to utilise a range of habitats including Chalk Downland, Heathland, Moors and woodland. The eggs are laid singlarly and the caterpillars are green with yellow markings along the back. Like other members of the family they are rather sluglike. They are not known to be tended by ants like some lycid larvae but the pupae which are formed at ground level emit squeaks which attract ants and it is thought that ants will always bury any that are found. They overwinter as a pupae and have one brood a year.
Description: Wingspan 27-34mm. A small butterfly which always perches with the wings closed showing the green underside. The underside also has a variable series of white marks. The upperside of both wings is an unmarked rich brown. The sexes are alike.
This camouflages the resting adult as it resembles a newly opened leaf. This combined with the small size of the insect mean it can easily be missed.
Flight Period: Single brooded from mid-April to late June, peaking in May.
Ecology: A colonial species found in N. Ireland on bogs and heaths with scrub. Males sit on a perch on a prominent shrub or tree. They adjust their position according to sun direction and temperature. Males leave their perch to investigate passing insects and can lose it when this happens. Any females encountered will be pursued. Females fly over habitat searching for nectar sources or foodplants. Throughout its range the species uses a wide variety of shrubby plants especially ericaceous and leguminous species. In Ireland, probably because of habitat association, it is believed to mainly use bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and gorse Ulex europaeus. The pupa overwinters.
World Distribution: Throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor and Asia to Siberia.
aljy has marked this note useful Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.