Friday, July 18, 2014

Purple hairstreak

When I was out walking near Durham city with Allan Watson and Steve Ansdell this lunchtime Allan spotted a butterfly in the grass under an oak tree on the edge of some woodland, which turned out to be this exquisite male purple hairstreak.























You rarely see purple hairstreaks on the ground because they spend most of their lives in or around the crowns of oaks, so you need binoculars to watch them. This was an exceptionally lucky encounter. I suspect that it had just hatched from a pupa - it certainly looks in mint condition. Purple hairstreak caterpillars feed on oak foliage but they pupate underground in ants' nests, which is where this one would have emerged from.



15 comments:

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    1. It really was an exceptionally lucky find

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  2. How lucky to have seen this Butterfly, great colour.
    Amanda xx

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    Replies
    1. Colour very similar to purple emperor, a species I've yet to see

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  3. Replies
    1. Sheer delight when it opened its wings to reveal that colour Adrian

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  4. Simply stunning. Weren't you lucky?!

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    1. astonishing good luck. Hope it survives this weekend's downpours

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  5. Crippling views! And great photos! My views of purple hairstreak yesterday at Alice Holt in Surrey, were as you describe - high flying flashes of brown / silver, in the middle top of an oak tree. What made the trip however, was watching two purple emperors tussle it out above them!

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    1. Would love to see a purple emperor

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  6. Hi Phil, What incredible photos! Please would you mind helping me, I'm the process of writing an article on Purple Hairstreak butterflies and your photos hold great value to me. I assume they were actually taken on the 18th July 2014 ? Please if it's not too much trouble, would you mind finding out the the exact times of which these three photos were taken, by looking at the exif file data, this would be most helpful for my research. Your help would naturally be credited, providing your full name,in the article. Many thanks, Jamie.

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    1. Hi Jamie, they were taken at 13.05 on 18/07/2014. Best wishes, Phil

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    2. Hi Phil, Thank you so much, that is most helpful. For the sake of crediting you, what is your surname ?
      All the best, Jamie

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