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Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

On this page, we have made available all the information we have for this species

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Picture of Green Hairstreak
© Nick Greatorex-Davies

The Green Hairstreak is an increasingly localised species living in discrete colonies on calcareous grassland, scrubby grassland, heathland and moorland where its caterpillars feed, depending on habitat, on Rockrose (Helianthemum nummularium), Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and a range of mostly leguminous plants such as Gorses (Ulex spp.), Broom (Cytisus scoparius) and Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatis) (For further details on this species see

Family : Lycaenidae

Status : Rapid decline

Status details :
Status since 1976 is Rapid decline with a decrease of -47.7%
Status over the last 20 years is Stable with a decrease of -38.6%
Status over the last 10 years is Stable with a decrease of -34.1%

Log collated index plot

Species Log Collated Index Plot

This chart shows the index of abundance (LCI = Log Collated Index) over time. It shows fluctuations in populations from year to year, and is scaled so that the average index over the whole series is equal to 2 (horizontal line). For greater detail about how this index is derived, click on the green question mark above.

Trend description :
This is the most widespread hairstreak recorded on UKBMS transects, producing site indices at well over 500 sites. Despite this the Green Hairstreak has shown a significant decline on monitored sites since 1976. This decline has stablised in the last decade or so. Some of the populations on sites in Cumbria in particular regularly produce three figure indices with, for example, an impressive site index of 717 at Meathop Moss in 2008.

This map shows the distribution between 1995 and 2016. Data is derived from the Butterflies for the New Millenium dataset via the NBN Gateway

Phenology plot
Species Phenology Plot

Phenology plot

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between Arpil and October across all sites (fitted values from a Generalised Additive Model). The blue line gives average counts over the full BMS series (1976 to date) and the red line gives the average for the last year.

Species abundance map


This map shows symbols for the mean abundance at transect sites, with the colour of the symbol reflecting the level of abundance. Means are over all years. Grey background squares are the occupied cells as shown by the Butterflies for the New Millenium over the previous ten year period.


In total, Green Hairstreak has been recorded from 470 transects in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Of these, annual indices of abundance have been calculated from 489 sites, with an average index of 6 individuals per site.

For 231 of these sites, Green Hairstreak has been recorded well enough to calculate annual indices of abundance in more years, allowing trends to be calculated.

In 2018, 1625 individuals were recorded from 199 sites, producing annual indices at 132 of these.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.