Callophrys rubi | Green Hairstreak | Stiallach uaine

Pre 2017

2017 - 2021


Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern (Regan et al., 2010)
Europe: Least Concern (van Swaay et al., 2010)
Climate risk category: Potential Climate Change Risk; present distribution in Europe can be explained by climate to only a limited extent (Settele et al., 2008)

Legal status

The Green Hairstreak is not afforded legal protection in Ireland.

Native status


Species Biology


Key identification features include:

  • Small size, wingspan: 27 - 34 mm
  • Underside of wings bright emerald colour
  • Upperside of wings grey/brown, but only every seen in flight


Specialist, found on poor-soil scrub dominated by Gorse (Ulex spp.) and cutover bog. Adults spend much of their time sitting on leaves of trees and bushes with wings closed. Their cryptic colouration makes them very difficult to see when at rest, and the
species is probably much under-recorded as a result. Flight is rapid and erratic, the brief green flash being often the only indication of the presence of the butterfly. Males establish territories with a favourite perching site, fending off other approaching males and other flying insects. Females tend to fly over more open countryside, close to the ground, in search of egg-laying sites (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Flight period

Univoltine: from April to June.

Life cycle

Eggs are laid singly on the leaf-shoots or flower-buds of the foodplant; the eggs being placed in a leaf-axil or among buds. The larval stage occurs in June and July, after which pupation occurs among ground litter, the pupa being sometimes attached to a dead leaf by a silken girdle. It is often found covered by soil particles, apparently because ants attend it, probably because they are
attracted to glandular structures on the surface upon which they may feed. Overwintering as a pupa, with eclosion of the adult about the end of April (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Food plants

Specialist, in Ireland the most commonly reported foodplants are Gorse (Ulex spp.) and Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus).

Flowers visited

Specialist, adult nectar sources include: Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Honeydew / Sap and Privet (Ligustrum vulgare).


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.



Bond, K.G.M. and Gittings, T. 2008. Database of Irish Lepidoptera. 1 - Macrohabitats, microsites and traits of Noctuidae and butterflies. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 35. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.

Regan, E.C., Nelson, B., Aldwell, B., Bertrand, C., Bond, K., Harding, J., Nash, D., Nixon, D. and Wilson, C.J. 2010. Ireland Red List No. 4 – Butterflies. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland.

Settele, J., Kudrna, O., Harpke, A., Kühn, I., Van Swaay, C., Verovnik, R., Warren, M.S., Wiemers, M., Hanspach, J., Hickler, T. and Kühn, E. 2008. Climatic risk atlas of European butterflies. Sofia-Moscow: Pensoft.

Van Swaay, C., Cuttelod, A., Collins, S., Maes, D., López Munguira, M., Šašic, M., Settele, J., Verovnik, R., Verstrael, T., Warren, M., Wiemers, M. and Wynhof, I. 2010. European Red List of Butterflies. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.