Tim writes: Purple Hairstreaks are one among our commonest hairstreaks, however they don’t seem to be simple to see and even much less simple to {photograph}.  That’s as a result of they’re primarily a treetop butterfly that solely sometimes ventures right down to floor stage.  They sometimes go to flowers however often get hold of their sugary gasoline from aphid honeydew on tree leaves.  One other behavior that makes them troublesome to see is that they’re most energetic within the evenings, and on sunny mornings, typically sitting immobile throughout the day.  And one last annoying behavior they’ve, is being slightly shy of opening up their wings to flash their purple.  They often hold their wings clamped tight, which makes any open-winged shot an actual prize.   I arrived at an area oak wooden at 7am on 24 July and the Purple Hairstreaks have been already flying within the morning sunshine.  I noticed numerous them, each flying and perched very excessive within the oak bushes.  However after about an hour two of them descended to eye stage and allowed me to take just a few pictures.  This was in a sunny glade of oak bushes not removed from Penistone in South Yorkshire.

This can be a male with a fair purple sheen throughout all 4 wings.  Females have a way more intense iridescent purple across the base of the forewings, that jogs my memory of a Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate foil wrapper.  The remainder of the feminine’s wings are blackish.  I’ve posted one within the feedback beneath for comparability.

The scientific generic title has modified about 4 or 5 occasions since I first learnt its scientific title about 45 years in the past; Thecla, Quercusia, Zephyrus, Neozephyrus and at present Favonius.  Fortunately its particular title quercus has remained unchanged since Linnaeus first named it in 1758.  The title “quercus” was given to replicate this butterfly’s foodplant Oaks (Quercus robur and Q. petraea).  The present generic title Favonius was first given to an Japanese Palaearctic hairstreak Favonius orientalisFavonius means pertaining to the west wind, and the adjective favonian means delicate, referring to climate when the wind is within the west.  A earlier generic title Zephyrus can be a Greek title for the west wind.


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