Monday 28 May 2012

Nature Reserve Notes (2): Green Hairstreak

We only had a short time so we decided to take a stroll along the paths of our local nature reserve. Last time we explored the pond and the wooded paths so on this occasion we headed in the direction of the butterfly meadow. It was not long before I caught a fleeting glimpse of this small Green Hairstreak, Callophrys rubi.

Green Hairstreaks are brown on the upper side of their wings, the side that is only seen in flight as these butterflies invariably perch with their wings closed, displaying the vivid green underside you see above. 

The iridescent green is not comprised of colour pigment. It is, in fact, structural colour, caused by interference effects. For more on iridescence, you might care to click here.


kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely to see the Green Hairstreak, we have a colony not too far away in Otley in a field of bilberry and heather that we found out about last year.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a beauty! I do not think I have ever seen this green color before. Grreat sighting.