Purple Hairstreak

Favonius quercus (Linnaeus, 1758)



A small dark butterfly. The upperside is dark brown with purplish-blue suffusion. The underside is a pale greyish-brown, with a thin white “hairstreak” postdiscal line. The hindwing underside has an two orange spots near the anal angle with a tiny tail. Male and female are similar, with the female being more purple on the upperside. The butterfly could be confused with members of the genus Satyrium, especially S. ilicis which inhabits a similar habitat, but the lack of purple sheen and presence of a more obvious short tail on the hindwing enables separation. 

Habitat Requirements

Whilst the Ilex Hairstreak is commonly associated with the lower growing Oaks on the island, the Purple Hairstreak is more frequently seen on large Oak scrub and/or trees. It is a truly arboreal species, often seen in the canopy or roosting in the heat of the day in branches of the larger Oak scrub species. Consequently, its more often found in the wooded and scrubby areas.

Larval Foodplants

Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis - not on Corfu, Turkey Oak Quercus cerris, Kermes Oak Quercus coccifera, Hungarian Oak Quercus frainetto, Holm Oak Quercus ilex, Mount Tabor Oak Quercus ithaburensis, Downy Oak Quercus pubescens, Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur.


Almost certainly an under recorded species because it leads such a secretive life in the canopies of the various Oak species. It has been most commonly recorded by CBC members in the north east of the island.

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Purple Hairstreak submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 17/06/2023 26/08/2023 70 days
2022 25/06/2022 09/10/2022 106 days
2021 23/06/2021 06/09/2021 75 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 41
2022 18
2021 53
Grand Total 112

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Purple Hairstreak (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Purple Hairstreak (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month since 1st January 2021


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Purple Hairstreak
  • Family: Lycaenidae (Leach, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Theclinae (Swainson 1831)
  • Tribe: Theclini ( Swainson 1831)
  • Genus: Favonius (Sibatani & Ito, 1942)
  • Species: quercus (Linnaeus, 1758)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.