Its Latin name is Thecla betulae (Brown hairstreak) and it has never before been recorded in Portugal. But amateur photographer José Agostinho Fernandes snapped it in a valley in Vila Real – at the time unaware of the stir his photograph would cause.
Now highlighted in national media, the rare and beautiful butterfly is delighting academics who say its registration is “very important” as it gives concrete details of its habitats.
The protected butterfly is known to be prevalent in Holland, France and UK, but this is the first time anyone has taken a clearly identifiable photograph of it in Portugal.
It could have been here already for decades, say specialist, but at least now they know!