Green hairstreak

green hairstreak

Jim Higham

Green Hairstreak butterfly

©Sue Crookes

Green hairstreak

Scientific name: Callophrys rubi
The green hairstreak is the UK's only green butterfly. Look out for the vibrant, metallic sheen of the undersides of its wings on grassland and moorland, and along woodland rides.

Species information


Wingspan: 2.7-3.4cm

Conservation status


When to see

April to June


The green hairstreak is a small, fairly shy butterfly that spends most of its time perched on vegetation or sunbathing. Adults fly in the spring, between April and June, and males can sometimes be seen chasing each other in the sun. Found in dry, scrubby habitats, including moorland and heathland, the caterpillars feed on a variety of plants, including gorse, broom and bilberry.

How to identify

The green hairstreak is a small butterfly. The undersides of its wings are bright green with a faint streak of white spots. The uppersides of its wings are dull brown. It rests with its wings closed.


Widespread, although it is not common anywhere.

Did you know?

Adult green hairstreaks emerge in spring, and the females lay their eggs. After a week, the caterpillars hatch and feed. In July, they make their way to the ground to pupate and overwinter in the leaf litter. New butterflies emerge the following the spring.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the green hairstreak. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time, scrub clearance and coppicing are just some of the ways grasslands and woodlands are kept in good condition.