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These belong to the same family as the "Blues" (Lycaenidae).  They nearly all have small "tails" on their hind wing (except the green hairstreak). 

Some of the blues outside the UK share this character (see Long-tailed Blue) so it is not distinguishing, but it is good enough for the UK observer.

They are generally hard to find due to either their habit of preferring tree tops (Purple Hairstreak), or their scarcity and smallness.




White Letter Hairstreak 04



White letter hairstreak


Green Hairstreak 1 (S)



Green hairstreak




Black Hairstreak 06


Black hairstreak

A beautiful butterfly that is very scarce.  They require large tracts of Blackthorn to breed.  Photographed at Bernwood Meadow Wildlife Trust site near Oxford.


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