Small Tortoiseshell

Latin: Aglais urticae

Irish: Ruán beag

The Small Tortoiseshell is one of our most common, colourful and well known butterflies. Our resident population is highly mobile, regularly traveling a kilometer or more a day and is on occasion, supplemented by immigration from the continent.

Double-brooded, this butterfly, which can be seen throughout the area, is particularly noticeable in the late summer feeding on nectar from flowers such as Butterfly-bush and Valerian, in preparation for hibernation.

Eggs are laid on common nettle and hatch in just under a fortnight.

The caterpillar feeds for about a month before moving away from its food plant and changing into its chrysalis form. This lasts for about two weeks .

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