Purple Hairstreak (Favonius quercus)

Male underside. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, on July 4th 2019.
(1/320th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon., on Jul 28 2013.
(1/250th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 32 - 39 mm

The Purple Hairstreak is the commonest British hairstreak, but is not often seen as it spends much of its life flying around the tops of trees or hidden in the foliage.

It is commonest in the southern half of England and Wales. It has expanded its range further north in recent years.

Its preferred habitat is woodland where there are large numbers of oaks.

Adults emerge in July and may be seen into September, with a peak at the end of July and early August. There is one brood each year. The ovum is the overwintering stage.

Larval foodplants are Sessile Oak, English Oak, Turkey Oak and Holm Oak.

Adults feed primarily on aphid honeydew.

Purple Hairstreaks spend much of their lives in the canopy of trees, mainly Oaks, but also Ash and Sycamore. They will come down to ground level to obtain fluids.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.


12-Aug-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
08-Aug-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
08-Aug-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (8)
22-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (10+)
22-Jul-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (19)
16-Jul-2019 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (6)
12-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (5)
12-Jul-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4)
08-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (3)
08-Jul-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (16)
08-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Meadows, Bucks (1)
04-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (3)
03-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (3)

06-Aug-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
31-Jul-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (7)
14-Jul-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
12-Jul-2018 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2018 : Cothill Fen, Oxon (1)
10-Jul-2018 : Fence Wood, Berks (3)
09-Jul-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (12+)
08-Jul-2018 : Abingdon (NE), Oxon (1)
07-Jul-2018 : Besselsleigh Wood, Oxon (3)
04-Jul-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
02-Jul-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (11+)
01-Jul-2018 : Silchester Common, Hants (4)

16-Aug-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
15-Aug-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
02-Jul-2017 : Silchester Common, Hants (3)
01-Jul-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (10+)
01-Jul-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (6)

14-Aug-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (6+)
31-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
15-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
11-Jul-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)

02-Aug-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
04-Jul-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)