New butterfly at Cemetery Park


Ken Greenway of the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park writes:

On 28 May we discovered we had Green Hairstreak butterflies (Callophrys rubi) at the Cemetery Park, in Scrapyard Meadow. Having been alerted by a possible sighting on 24 May, we found and photographed two different female butterflies, one on Sanfoin (pictured above), the other on Lucerne.

The Green Hairstreak forms definite colonies. The nearest we’re aware of is at Wanstead Flats, over 5 kilometres to the north-east. Our colony must have been present at least since last spring. The butterfly is scarce, but spreading, in the London area.

The butterfly has green underwings. It rests on leaves, always with its wings closed, so the green underwings provide camouflage.

Green Hairstreak is the 31st species of butterfly recorded in the Cemetery Park this century, a remarkable total for an inner London site.

Header photo by Chris Hazelton


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