Green Hairstreak butterfly Callophrys rubi resting on Bilberry — Clougha, April.
This butterfly always rests with closed wings, showing its distinctive, iridescent green underside — effective camouflage against the surrounding leaves of the bilberry, one of its caterpillar’s many foodplants, which include bramble, heathers and gorse. The upper side of the wings are brownish and plain apart from a small, lighter patch of scales on the forewings of the male. The eggs are laid singly in May, caterpillars are green with yellow and darker markings and brown head, and pupation occurs towards the end of July on the ground. The pupa overwinters and can emit an audible squeaking or rasping sound — apparently this attracts ants which can protect the pupa to an extent by burying it beneath the surface.
Words and Photograph Cis Brook