Favonius quercus, Crete - photo © Fotis Samaritakis

Favonius quercus, Crete - photo © Fotis Samaritakis

Favonius quercus


Favonius quercus is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Favonius quercus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name

Purple Hairstreak


Family: Lycaenidae > Subfamily: Theclinae > Tribus: Theclini > Genus: Neozephyrus


Male to female: 25-30 mm


The underside of the wings is light grey with a white streak (hairstreak), edged in black, running down the middle of both wings. The hindwings have a short tail with two orange spots at the base on the underside. The upperside is dark brown with purplish-blue suffusion.

Both males and females are small butterflies and have a similar appearance. Males have a glossy purple sheen on the upperside, females have two patches on the forewing only.


This active little butterfly is most often seen fluttering around high up in oak trees on warm sunny July and early August days. It is difficult to spot the butterfly as it flies around the tops of trees and rarely descends to the ground.


Favonius quercus in Crete occurs in deciduous forests with Quercus plants.

Food plant

The larva lives on Fagaceae (Quercus) plants.

Flight period

The butterfly flies in one generation per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

This butterfly has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with other butterflies on the island. It is rare sightseeing on the island.


Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Favonius Quercus Distribution Map

*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

Favonius quercus location map based on greek butterflies distributions maps by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)