JaseJ's picture

Small Tortoiseshell

Observed: 8th July 2009 By: JaseJJaseJ’s reputation in InvertebratesJaseJ’s reputation in InvertebratesJaseJ’s reputation in Invertebrates
Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell, sitting in a flattened area of grass, hoping for some sun / a mate.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) interacts


Rose's picture

Small Tortoiseshell

Really nice photograph, you can really see the beautiful blue marginal spots that readily identify this butterfly. Its food plant is stinging nettle.
‘The Small Tortoiseshell was not long ago regarded as one of Britain's most familiar and common butterflies, but in recent years has shown signs of decline. It has, however, has always been subject to dramatic fluctuations in abundance from year to year. In some years the butterfly can be extremely scarce, but in others it can be a very common and abundant species…..' (http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?vernacular_name=Small%20Torto...)
In comparison to the large Tortoiseshell that is a dull orange and rarely has blue marginal spots on the forewing. This species is believed to be extinct as a resident, although sightings are reported in most years which are assumed to be immigrants.


Martin Harvey's picture

butterfly records wanted

The local branch of Butterfly Conservation (Upper Thames Branch) would welcome records of butterflies in Berks, Bucks and Oxon to include in their latest atlas for the region, for which 2009 is the final year. We are particularly short of records in the Milton Keynes area! For more info see:

Entomologist and biological recorder