Green Hairstreak Butterfly (Callophrys rubi) - Devon, UK
Canon 300mm F4 IS plus 1.4 x Extender and Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II
Fill Flash -3, Tripod
AV Mode, Evaluative Metering dialed to -1
Text adapted from - http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/Butterfly/32/Butterfly.html?ButterflyId=7
The Green Hairstreak holds its wings closed, except in flight, showing only the green underside with its faint white streak. The extent of this white marking is very variable; it is frequently reduced to a few white dots and may be almost absent. Males and females look similar and are most readily told apart by their behaviour: rival males may be seen in a spiralling flight close to shrubs, while the less conspicuous females are more often encountered while laying eggs.
Although this is a widespread species, it often occurs in small colonies and has undergone local losses in several regions.
This butterfly can be found throughout Europe, parts of North Africa and across Asia to Siberia. It is stable in most of Europe but has declined in several countries.
Usual food plants include Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium) and Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) are on calcareous grassland, while Gorse (Ulex europeaus), Broom (Cytisus scoparius), and Dyer''s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria) are used on heathland and other habitats. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is used almost exclusively on moorland and throughout Scotland. Other foodplants include shrubs such as Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), Cross-leaved Heath (Erica tetralix), and Bramble (Rubus fruticosus).
Green Hairstreak colonies may be found on calcareous grassland, woodland rides and clearings, heathland, moorland, bogs, railway cuttings, old quarries, and rough, scrubby grassland. This species occurs on a wide range of soils but is strongly associated with scrub and shrubs, which are usually present at sites where it breeds.