- Subfamily: Theclinae - Eumaeini
- Wingspan: 25 - 30 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Jun
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Cistaceae - Cornaceae - Fabaceae - Ericaceae...
The Callophrys rubi also known as Green Hairstreak , is a small butterfly of the Lycaenidae family with a wingspan of 25-30 mm.
Widespread throughout Europe except Iceland. In Italy it is also present in the Islands *
The upper side of the wings is a uniform dull brown color, with two lighter spots on the front wings of the male. ** The underside is a bright metallic green with a thin white line, often reduced to a faint row of dots or even missing altogether. The iridescent green color of the underside of the wings is a structural color caused by diffraction of light by repetitive microscopic structures that form a lattice in the scales of the wings, and this lattice diffracts the light.
Caterpillars are green with yellow spots on their backs. ** Like the other members of the family they are quite similar to slugs.
Univoltine species this butterfly can be found at the end of March, with the flight period usually lasting until the end of June. but they are sometimes seen in July and early August. ***
They never rest with their wings open, to keep their camouflage green. Males exhibit territorial behaviors. **
The female is similar to the male, but without the androconial stigma (small oval shaped area lighter than the rest of the wing, present on the right side of the male's front wings at the end of the discoid cell and straddling the radial rib). ****
There are many host plants, Cistaceae, such as Helianthemum (Eliantemo) - Cornaceae, such as Cornus sanguinea - Ericaceae such as Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) and Vaccinium uliginosum (Blueberry) - Fabaceae as Chamaecytisus, Genista, Onobrychis, Trifolium (Clover) - Rhamnaceae as Frangula alnus (Buckthorn) - Rosaceae as Rubus (Bramble) and in particular Rubus plicatus
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Learna about Butterflies http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Britain%20-%20Callophrys%20rubi.htm
*** Collins Butterfly Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Europe - Collins; New edition (6 May 2008) pp 90-91 -ISBN-13 : 978-0007242344
**** Farfalle Italiane - http://www.farfalleitalia.it/