Large Tortoiseshell, Portland

view of a Large Tortoiseshell resting on Valerian  showing upper wings

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Alan Carpenter

Alan saw this Large Tortoiseshell at Portland on 1/07/18

In Victorian times the Large Tortoiseshell was considered widespread and common in woodland in southern England. However, this beautiful insect has since suffered a severe decline and there have been less than 150 records since 1951. This butterfly, whose numbers were always known to fluctuate, is generally considered to be extinct in the British Isles, with any sightings considered to be migrants from the continent or accidental or deliberate releases of captive-bred stock.

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