MJCuff's picture

Mystery Butterfly

Observed: 4th June 2011 By: MJCuff
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
MJCuff’s reputation in InvertebratesMJCuff’s reputation in InvertebratesMJCuff’s reputation in Invertebrates
DSC01444a Mystery Butterfly

Brown & cream butterfly in our Surrey garden in June. It appears to lack the 'eye spots' on its wings of anything I can find similar in the books I own.
Photograph taken by my daughter, who came in & asked what it was (so I have no more detail)

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) interacts


MJCuff's picture

Recent identification

Thank you for the identification, but can anyone explain why the colours are so different to usual? Does this variation occur often?

Wildlife Ranger's picture

Tortoiseshell "Profile"

Hello well done to your small daughter when the wings are closed in profile they are very hard to distinguish from the dappled shade in the vegetation - Your picture is a profile that is the underside of the wings that are visible in your picture. When fully open like the peacock butterfly the bright colours spots or eyes can scare off or distract birds only to blend in to the vegetation in short they are very well camouflaged also if the butterflies are pecked as in the case of the Peacock they can survive as a bird does not harm the succulent body but instead pecks the spots or edge markings . another factor is the radiation that can be absorded from the ground to help them fire up or absorb heat etc . All very clever :)


Best Wishes