I came across this easily overlooked green and gold-edged beauty while out on a 9 mile river amphibia walk on Salisbury Plain. It’s unusual I guess to see a Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi sitting amongst nationally threatened Juniper Juniperus communis famous for its aromatic berries used to flavour Gin.
Only the underwings are green, the upper wings are brown and both sexes are virtually identical although the female is usually slightly larger and slightly paler.
I suspect this might be a male. Males are often found on a favourite perch on a prominent shrub from which they launch attacks on other males or chase females, usually returning to the same spot. When stationary, always with wings closed, they can be surprisingly tame and approachable.
It’s not a great photo as it was perched quite high up and I hadn’t thought to bring a ladder with me.
Sadly without our help Juniper which has been part of our landscape since the last Ice-Age may face extinction in lowland England. Find out how Plantlife has been helping to halt the decline at Roundway Down in Wiltshire.