Sunday 2 June 2013

Green Hairstreak - Beautiful Eyebrow

I make no apologies for posting another photo of my favourite butterfly, seen dancing in the sun last Sunday on the Rinns. There can be no such thing as excessive photographs of so exquisite a creature. In case anyone has forgotten (and I'm sure I have mentioned this before), this butterfly's Latin name Callophrys rubi means 'beautiful eyebrows' - and these photos illustrate why!

We were privileged to watch this species engage in wing-rubbing activity. Male hairstreaks have patches of specialised wing scales - 'androconia', located on their upperside forewings. Sacs at the base of these scales contain pheromones. Apparently rubbing the wings together helps to disseminate these pheromones, which attract females and induces them to mate. I attempted to video this activity, but it didn't work, so I've attached a link to a brief movie to illustrate it instead.

 Green Hairstreak - wing-rubbing behaviour


  1. Great shot Becky... Which camera is tha?

  2. Thanks, Carl. It's my Panasonic lumix - it's great for macro shots like this.