View of dark and light brown butterfly with wings closed hibernating in a barn.

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Emma-Kate Perry

Emma recently sent us this photo with the following query:

So sorry to trouble you, hope you don’t mind, wasn’t sure where to ask the question. I found this little chap on 10/11/2019 under a stair in a storage barn in Lytchett Matravers the other day. I wondered if you could tell me what it is?  Is there anything we should /not do ? Just hoping everyone leaves him in peace. 

We are always very happy to try to answer your queries/questions whenever possible and one of our BC Supporters who deals with some of the queries sent to us wrote to Emma as follows – the advice given is particularly relevant for everyone at this time of the year:

It’s a Small Tortoiseshell hibernating. If the storage barn is unheated, it is already in an ideal place to sleep until spring. There is plenty of information on the web if you Google butterfly in your house. If it is in a heated place, it really needs moving to somewhere cool and dark. Small Tortoiseshell are having a thin time at the moment, so I hope it makes it through to breed in the spring.

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