Brown Hairstreak (Thecla betulae)

Wing span: 37-44 mm. This is the largest hairstreak found in the British Isles. It is a local species that lives in self-contained colonies that breed in the same area year after year. This species can prove elusive, since adults spend much of their time resting and basking high up in tall shrubs and trees. This species is found in the southern half of England and Wales. It favours areas with extensive networks of hedges and woodland, often on heavy clay soils on low-lying land.
Life Cycle
There is one generation each year. This is the latest species to emerge in Britain, with adults being on the wing from late July to early September. The ovum is the over-wintering stage.
Larval Foodplants
The primary larval foodplant is Blackthorn; Bullace is also used.
Nectar Sources
Adults feed primarily on aphid honeydew.
UK Conservation Status
Earliest UTB sighting (since 2004)
11th July
First sightings data
Species Champion
Dave Wilton (email:
Asham Meads
Bernwood Forest
Bernwood Meadows
Chinkwell Wood
Finemere Wood
Piddington Wood
Rushbeds Wood/Lapland Farm Meadows
Shotover Country Park
Sydlings Copse
Waterperry Wood
Whitecross Green Wood
Wytham Woods