Rare opportunity to see Purple Hairstreak butterflies close-up

Purple Hairstreak butterflies spend most of their adult phase living in the upper canopy of mature oak trees. Sometimes you can be lucky and see them close-up just after they emerge from their pupa at ground level. They settle on a twigs and shrubs to fully inflate their wings before flying high into the treetops. Most of the time though they can only be observed at a distance.

We will be looking for them in the oak canopy during our evening walk at Shaw Wood on 4th August (see Outings page for details). However, this Saturday you can have the opportunity to see two Purple Hairstreak butterflies up close. These were raised in captivity from eggs gathered from twigs brought down by the winds last autumn.

Come along to see the butterflies and watch as we release them into the oak woods. We’ll be at the eastern end of Shaw Wood, the point nearest to Dykebar Hospital at 5pm on Saturday, 9th July.

Close-up of a butterfly inside a netted cage. It has greyish brown wings with a white streak across each wing and an orange circle with a black dot at the edge of the wing. It's wings are closed and it is feeding on sugar-water through the holes in the netting.
Purple Hairstreak butterfly raised in captivity, July 2022. Photograph by Kirsty Menzies.

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