Ilex Hairstreak

Satyrium ilicis (Esper, 1779)



A small dark butterfly. It can be easily confused with other members of the genus, and Favonius quercus which inhabits the same trees. The male and female are similar. The forewing upperside can have a variable orange patch, which is more obvious in the female.. F. quercus has a purplish sheen to the upperside of the wing. The underside of the hindwing has a series of orange spots, along with an indistinct W-shape which helps to separate it from S. w-album. The presence of a short tail also helps separate it from S. acaciae. 

Habitat Requirements

Usually found in maquis and garrigue vegetation where low growing wildflowers and host plants can be found.

Larval Foodplants

Kermes Oak Quercus coccifera, Holm Oak Quercus ilex, Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur, – normally smaller, bushy specimens.


Probably the most common species of Hairstreak encountered in Corfu. This species is fond nectaring on low growing yellow composite flowers. Here the males utilise these flat flower heads as a stage for elaborate and persistant attempts at mating with visiting females. Some attempts to mate may continue for a full 10 minutes, whilst the females, unconcerned continue to take nectar.

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

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 04/06/2023 04/07/2023 30 days
2022 21/05/2022 03/07/2022 43 days
2021 19/05/2021 30/06/2021 42 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 576
2022 107
2021 85
Grand Total 768

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Ilex Hairstreak (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Ilex Hairstreak (All Data)

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


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Ilex Hairstreak
  • Family: Lycaenidae (Leach, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Theclinae (Swainson 1831)
  • Tribe: Eumaeini (Doubleday 1847)
  • Genus: Satyrium (Scudder, 1876)
  • Sub-genus: Satyrium (Scudder, 1876)
  • Species: ilicis (Esper, 1779)


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