Tag Archives: Small Tortoiseshell

View of two orange coloured butterflies on Buddleia

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent in this photo showing what is an increasingly rare sight of 2 Small Tortoiseshell together on the same plant. Photo taken on 18/08/2019 in his garden near Duncliffe Wood after he returned from holiday. He added that there seemed to have been a mini explosion with at least 15 different Tortoiseshells feeding on various buddleia’s around the garden as well as Peacocks, Painted Lady and Whites. Like stepping back in time to his childhood.

underwing phooto of a small Tortoiseshell  , black with a  pinky grey cross band

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

On 14/07/19 in his garden near Shaftesbury Dave tells us:

This was one of two Small Tortoiseshells egg laying on the nettle patch in the garden . The nettles are cut back from mid June to encourage the fresh growth that the females require . Also Commas and Red Admirals using the same nettle bed.

Whilst suitable flowers for nectaring butterflies are of course really necessary, plants in the garden for the caterpillars of butterflies and moths are of paramount  importance, but so often not included.

Buddleia butterflies coming out

Orange butterfly with a lot of black and yellow marks, plus blue dots round the edge
Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

We have had some comments about the lack of butterflies this year, which isn’t true statistically, but we agree the species we see in our gardens have been lacking recently.

However, Dave Law sends us heartening news. Continue reading

Orange butterfly with blak and pale markings on stony ground

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: George McCabe

Apologies for the size of this photo, but George explains:

Spotted this Small Tortoiseshell sunning itself on the road tarmac near Bincombe, Weymouth. It soon flew off into the ploughed field with crops just showing next to the road, and laid there quite happily; l had to take the picture from a distance as l could not get over the fence. The reason l have sent you this picture rather than the better one I’ve taken this yea,r is that it shows how much white is on the wings – never seen that – and how fresh it looks.

This is the first Small Tortoiseshell photo/record we’ve had sent in since February – anybody else seen one?

Small Tortoiseshell struggling in Dorset and England

Orange butterfly iwth yellow, black and blue markings, on a white wall
Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona Refoy from Broadstone, took this lovely picture on 07/09/18, and adds the shocking statement “I was delighted to see this butterfly, my first sighting [of this species] in Dorset this year!” Continue reading

Small Tortoiseshells suffering from the summer heat?

Orange, yellow, brown and blue butterfly on grass
Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Brian Arnold.

Brian Arnold sent us in this great photo of a Small Tortoiseshell recently and said from his observations “They seemed to be quite scarce last year, but … they have virtually disappeared this year”. We asked our Records Officer, Bill Shreeves to comment. Continue reading