Scientific name: Satyrium pruni
The black hairstreak is a rare butterfly that is restricted to woodlands and hedgerows containing blackthorn - the foodplant of the caterpillar. It is both elusive and hard to tell apart from other hairstreaks.
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
When to seeJune to July
AboutThe black hairstreak is the UK's rarest hairstreak, but is more widespread in Europe. In the UK, it is only found in mature woodland and hedgerows in the East Midlands, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. This species does not travel or disperse over great distances.
Adults are on the wing for a short period over June and July, but are very elusive, spending much of their time in dense blackthorn scrub or in the canopy where they feed on honeydew secreted by aphids. Blackthorn is the main foodplant of the caterpillars.