Tag Archives: Large Tortoiseshell

Large Tortoiseshell and Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Portland Obs Garden.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth and Large Tortoiseshell nectaring on Valerian

Large Tortoiseshell and Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Photo: Paul Hopwood

Paul spotted these two rare beauties in the garden of Portland Observatory on 30/06/19

Two Large Tortoiseshells have been seen on a few occasions earlier in the year on Portland and  now we regularly receive reports of sightings in different locations on the island.

Large Tortoiseshell. Photo: Andy Martin

Andy was thrilled to find his first Large Tortoiseshell in the UK at Tout Quarry on 26/02/19.

Two were reported as being seen there, one having a light coloured speck above the third of the dark blotches on the right fore-wing.

This species is not known as a migrant, so it would be  interesting to know if they are releases or maybe they are going to start migrating to our shores.

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.