Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae

 

A rare species nationally but fairly widespread in well-hedged farmland east and west of Taunton. Even so, Brown Hairstreaks are hard to see as the males, which are a fairly uniform brown on the upperwing,  remain in the tree tops and though the females, which have a striking orange patch on the forewing ,do visit nectar plants their main object is to lay their eggs on blackthorn bushes, usually within a yard of the ground, a secretive operation easily missed.

 

 

 

Images L-R: adult female; underwing; eggs on blackthorn.

Flight Period: July - September