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  59.027 SMALL TORTOISESHELL (Aglais urticae) Linnaeus  

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PICTURE: Seen in my garden in Farsley, Pudsey, Yorkshire, October 2012.

             
 

DISTRIBUTION: This species is a common  resident to the British Isles. It is widely distributed throughout England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Recently how ever it has been on the decline due to a parasite that migrates from the continent.

 

WING SPAN: 45mm to 55mm.                                   STATUS: Resident, migrant and hibernates.

 

FLIGHT PERIOD: This species hibernate as adults, and can be on the wing from as early as March, throughout the summer to late autumn. There is some times a period in some years where the butterfly is absent from around late spring, until the new generation emerges in early summer.

 

LARVAL PERIOD: Caterpillars of this species are gregarious, and live communally under a large silken web until nearly mature. Pupation takes place on the food plant, and pupae are variable in colour.  The double brooded adults emerge in early summer, and again late summer to autumn.

 

HABITAT: These strong fliers and can be seen almost any where there are  flowers, or Common Stinging Nettles.

FOOD PLANT/S: Common Stinging Nettle.

SIMILAR SPECIES:  The Large Tortoiseshell, which is larger, and extinct in Britain. Large Tortoiseshells are still recorded, these could be migrants, or breeding releases.

           
               
             
               
             
 

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