Purple haze in Paisley

A colony of rare butterflies has been discovered at a new site on the outskirts of Glasgow.

The Purple Hairstreaks were found in Shaw Wood in Thornly Park, Paisley. The discovery could prove important as the butterfly, although widespread in parts of England, is far less common in Scotland.

The Purple Hairstreak is one of our most beautiful and overlooked butterflies.

The male boasts striking, deep-purple upper wings and tiny black tail streamers.

Purple Hairstreaks often go unnoticed as they are typically found in tree tops.They live in self contained colonies, always on oak trees, and rarely take flight except on sunny days.

The latest discovery highlights the recent success of the butterfly in Scotland.

Tom Prescott, Species Conservation Officer for Butterfly Conservation, explained: "The Purple Hairstreak has been doing quite well recently in Scotland. Although we think it may be severely unrecorded as seeing it is quite tricky as it normally depends upon lying on your back and looking for a small silhouette fluttering around the top of a tree.

"The butterfly has shown evidence of moving north in recent years with a colony even being found in Highland."

The colony was found by Scott Donaldson, of the Butterfly Conservation Glasgow & Southwest branch.

The Purple Hairstreak is typically on the wing until the end of August.