White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album)

Cheshire local information

When to see: June to August

Where to see: Hedgerows, woodland edges, mixed scrub and isolated mature Elm trees

Behaviour: Perch

Wingspan: 25-36mm

Caterpillar food plant: Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra), English Elm (U. procera) and Small-leaved Elm (U. minor)

Cheshire status: Elusive and probably still under-recorded. The results of extensive survey work in recent years have shown that it should not now be considered as a scarce insect, especially on the Wirral where it is widely recorded. Evidence clearly indicates a gradual extension in its range, despite the extinction of colonies due to the effects of Dutch Elm disease. Single-brooded flying from late June to mid-August.

In 2003 the branch was involved in the Butterfly Bus in Halton, Cheshire that allowed people to see the butterfly up close. Watch a film about the Butterfly Bus (Windows Media Audio/Video File 0.8Mb - © MMIII Dream Catcher Films).

White-letter Hairstreak butterfly
White-letter Hairstreak butterfly