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Purple Hairstreak

Favonius quercus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Status

Description

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 genius 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 scubby 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.

Observations

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
2022 25/06/2022 01/09/2022 68 days
2021 23/06/2021 06/09/2021 75 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2022 14
2021 53
Grand Total 67

Distribution Map

Distribution data for the Purple Hairstreak will be displayed on the map below soon.

Flight Times for the Purple Hairstreak (2022)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2022 submitted online since 1st January 2022 to 26th September 2022.

Flight Times for the Purple Hairstreak (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month based on all data submitted online since 1st January 2019 to 26th September 2022.

Taxonomy

  • 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)

References

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