The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!

Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.



Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Green Hairstreak - Callophrys rubi

It has been a bit of a frustrating season so far. The last few days of March were mild and promising, but then most of April it was too cold for butterflies. The last ten days have been sunny and reasonably mild, bringing out a few butterflies. We are currently up to 13 species for the season.

A few days ago I heard that Green Hairstreaks, Callophrys rubi, had been found in a local wood. They were first recorded there last year, but have most likely lived there unnoticed for many years. A friend and I went to look for them and were delighted to find at least eight.


My friend returned the following day and explored further into the wood and found a colony of about 25 and today she let me know that she had managed to find Green Hairstreaks in another wood where they have never been recorded before.




They are very small and so well camouflaged that I am not surprised they haven't previously been noticed here.


Green Hairstreaks lay their eggs on Blaeberry here. We have also noticed that they only seem to occur close to conifer plantations. Maybe that is a coincidence, but apparently identical areas of Blaeberry without conifers near by don't seem to have any Green Hairstreaks living on them.



It is great to know that there are at least three areas of East Lothian where Green Hairstreaks occur. I am sure there are probably many more. Over the winter I found a site that looks perfect for them, but it is a three hour walk to get there, so I doubt I am going to have time to check it out this spring. At least I now know what sorts of habitats to check out.




12 comments:

  1. Good morning Nick!:) Wonderful clarity in your images of the Green Hairstreak,.. the closeups are beautiful. It's an interesting theory about them being found in proximity to conifers. I would love to see one again, but so far have seen very few butterflies this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sonjia, Strangely the only other place I have seen Green Hairstreaks is in Portugal. There it was living along a track with Evergreen Oaks trees on either side. I believe that the caterpillars eat different plants in different parts of the world.

      Delete
  2. You see those hairstreaks a lot more than I do!
    Great pictures, Nick!
    Enjoy the end of your week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Noushka,
      It is only on the last two years that they have been found here. Maybe they just haven't been noticed, or maybe they have moved in. Who knows?

      Delete
  3. Amo todas las mariposas, para mí es una de las cosas más bellas de la vida, y tus fotografías son espectaculares.
    ¡Felicidades por tu trabajo, Nick!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What beautiful emerald colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are a beautiful colour. I am glad my camera picked it up well on this occasion.

      Delete
  5. Such a charming butterfly dressed in beautiful colors. I have never seen this one. Your photos are beautiful. We have this butterfly in blues, beautiful blues and some that seem to be violet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammie Lee, yes it is a beautiful wee thing. It is odd that there aren't more green butterflies. It is such good camouflage. Thinking about it now, blue butterflies are blue on top and these Green Hairstreaks have green undersides to their wings.

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen any green butterfly here yet, that one you have is so lovely. I guess it is difficult to see when it is having all green background. If only we are nearer each other, it would be very nice if we can go around shooting butterflies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a friend who told me about these butterflies. It is always good to have someone who shares your interest. However it is sometimes nice here that there are so few people interested in butterflies. I have seen photographs from the south of England, where there are a lot of enthusiasts, with people crowded around a butterfly trying to get a picture!!

      Delete