Where do Purple Hairstreaks roost?

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Where do Purple Hairstreaks roost?

Postby peterc » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:45 am

I don't know if the Purple Hairstreak is having a good season or not but I have seen far more than usual at low levels in hedgerows for example. The lack of honeydew and in turn possibly also a shortage of aphids is probably the reason.

When I visited my local park yesterday evening to scan the tops of a line of tall oaks I saw none in half an hour. Usually at this time of year I see several within a few minutes. It might be the heat (29c) which curtailed activity (territorial) or it could be that it is just a little too early in the season. This leads me to the question of where do the hairstreaks roost. I expect they roost on the oak somewhere but at what height usually?

What have other observers experienced?



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Pete Eeles
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Re: Where do Purple Hairstreaks roost?

Postby Pete Eeles » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:21 pm

Hi Peter,

In my experience, the best time to observe Purple Hairstreak is early evening; I once encountered a vista of 8 individuals at Pamber Forest a few years ago, and counter over 140 in flight along one line of oaks; quite a spectacle!

Although I have no evidence, I suspect they roost quite high up in an oak. I'm only suggesting this since I've never found them roosting low down. I'd also be interested in others' experiences.


- Pete

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