Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Latin Name: Aglais urticae

Description:  The Small Tortoiseshell butterfly is bright orange with a black border and blue spots around the edge of the wings. The forewing has 3 rectangular black patches and the hindwings have black on them aswell. The underside of the wings are a black and brown colouring with a row of faint blue spots near the edge.

Size: The Small Tortoiseshell has a wingspan of approximately 45-60mm.

Habitat: This butterfly lives in gardens, parks, meadows, woodlands, grasslands, farms and country lanes.

Food: The Small Tortoiseshell butterfly feeds on nectar from flowering plants such as the buddleia, daisies, thistles, ragwort and dandelion. The caterpillar feeds on stinging nettles.

Distribution: The Small Tortoiseshell butterfly can be found throughout the UK.

Months Seen: This species of butterfly can be seen from March to October.

Did You Know?

  • The Small Tortoiseshell caterpillar is a black or brown colour with branching spines and yellow bands on eachside of it’s body.
  • The adult butterfly sleeps in sheds and houses during the Winter.
  • Eggs from the caterpillar are laid on the stinging nettle.