Callophrys avis

Chapman's Green Hairstreak


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
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Anti-Atlas, Morocco, March 2022

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Var, France, March 2008

Field notes and information

The rare sister species of the much more widespread and common green hairstreak, C. rubi. This species is unlikely to be encountered casually, but it is just possible throughout its range.

Identification & Similar species: Superficially very similar, some characteristics to separate C. avis vs C. rubi:

- Eyes ringed rusty orange vs white. If it looks remotely white, it isn't the current species.

- Inner side of antennal clubs rusty orange vs all black.

- Stripy legs white-brown vs white-black.

- Underside hindwing white stripe relatively further from wing margin vs closer.

Note: often the underside hindwing white stripe is quoted as being strong in avis but this is certainly not reliable feature.

Distribution & Flight: North Africa, southeast and northwest Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean France. Usually near the coast in Europe. Very local across its range. One generation in late March and April, a few weeks earlier in Morocco. Said to fly into June at higher levels and in Morocco.

Habitat & Behaviour: Dry scrubland with larval food plant the strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo, and early spring flowers.

Variation: Underside white line very variable in intensity and continuity.

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Var, France, March 2008

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Var, France, April 2018

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avis showing rusty red around eyes and along palpi.

rubi showing white eyes and black along palpi

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Anti-Atlas, Morocco, March 2022

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Var, France, April 2007

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Var, France, April 2007

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Var, France, March 2018

Habitat completely destroyed by fires in 2017. But young growth was pushing through and I found the butterfly on hills a few kms away. The normal cycle of life!

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Var, France, April 2007

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Var, France, April 2004

Favoured nectar source for many butterfly species.

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Var, France, March to May.

Classic habitat: open areas in maquis.

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Var, France, April 2007

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Var, France, March 2018