Gallery - Hairstreaks, Coppers and Blues
Hairstreaks,Coppers and Blues (Lycaenidae)
A worldwide group of several thousand, mainly small species, best represented in the tropics of the old world but with about 100 species in Europe. The wings are mostly blue,brownorange or red above, but usualy very different coloured on the underside. Most hairstreaks have one or more short tails to the hind wing. All three pairs of legs are fully developed. Females usualy differ from the males in colour-pattern. The chrysalis is short and stout. It may hang from its tail end, be fixed in an upright position by a girdle of silk, or lie on the ground.
Greyish underside and blue flush distinguishes from other blues. Larvae taken into ant nests where they eat ant grubs in return for a sugary secretion which is lapped up by the adult ants.
A common butterfly, found throughout Europe except Scotland and North Scandinavia. It prefers woodland clearings and hedgerows but can also be seen flying around parks and gardens. Catapillars vary greatly in both colour and pattern.
This common butterfly is found throughout Europe, prefering meadows and flowery hillsides up to about 2500m, although it is seen sometimes in gardens. The catapillar is green with a darker line down the back and yellowish stripes down the side.
Mainly found in Southern England or North Wales. It prefers sunny heaths and grasslands on chalk hills up to around 2500m.
In the British Isles it lives in small isolated colonies, it prefers south-facing grassy banks and slopes up to around 2000m
A butterfly of chalk and limestone hills. It prefers open grassland on low hillsides.
An extremely variable butterfly found throughout most of Europe except Scandinavia. In England it is restricted to the chalk and limestone of southern counties.
This is a butterfly of open grassland, though rarley above 1000m. The caterpillars are tended by ants and when fully grown will pupate in spring at the base of the food plant.
A common butterfly found throughout most of Europe and tolerating a wide range of situations, from wet to dry heaths to open woodland up to about 2000m. The caterpillar is green with a darker stripe along the sides.
This is a lowland butterfly, prefers open woodland and hedgerows, where it will normally fly high up in the tree tops. Feeds instead on sweet and sticky honey-dew from aphids.
A woodland butterfly, found in Oak forests throughout most of Europe. The adults are not seen very often becouse they spend most of their time flying high up and around tree tops and do not come down to flowers, feeding instead on sticky honey-dew from aphids.
Very common butterfly found throughout Europe which prefers sunny meadows and forest clearings up to about 2000m.The caterpillar is green, sometimes with a dark pink stripe down the back and sides. It usually pupates under a leaf of the food plant.
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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