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Butterfly White Letter Hairstreak

White Letter Hairstreak - Photo  Copyright 2004 Dean Stables Photo: Dean Stables

UK Safari Tip:
An ideal way to catch and observe butterflies without harming them is with a special butterfly net - click here


Latin name: Strymonidia w-album

Size: Wingspan approximately 32mms

Distribution: Found in several areas in England and Wales, but very localised in those areas.

Months seen: July and August

Food: Aphid honeydew and Nectar. The caterpillars feed on elm tree leaves.

Habitat: Hedgerows and woodland glades, often seen high around the tree canopy.

Special features: The white letter hairstreak gets its name from the narrow white line on the underside of the wings which form a "W" shape.

These species declined in the 1970's after the caterpillars food plant, elm trees, were hit by Dutch elm disease.

The caterpillars are lime green with yellowish chevron markings along the back.

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UK Safari Butterfly Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved