Tag Archives: Small Tortoiseshell

Orange butterfly with black, white and yellow markings resting on white flowers

Small Tortoisehell. Photo: Clive Hill

Brown butterfly with some black spots and a white fringe to the wings resting on a green leaf

Ringlet. Photo: Clive Hill

Clive sent us these photos he took a few days ago with the following comments:

Some photos from my visits to Garston Wood – I’d never been before and I couldn’t believe how many Ringlets there were. You couldn’t count them – everywhere you walked there were dozens of them. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Greenish white buuterfly nectaring on a white bramble flower

Small White. Photo: Brian Arnold

Orange butterfly with black, white, yellow and blue markings resting on the ground

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Brian Arnold

Two photos sent to us by Brian with the following observations:

We went for a walk today, 21/06/2020 from Chickerell to Langton Herring following the footpath by The Fleet.

We saw lots of Meadow Browns and Small Whites, plus a small number of  Marbled White, Green-veined White, Large Skipper, Small Heath, and just 2 Small Tortoiseshells. These are the first Small Tortoiseshells I have managed to photograph this year. As we ascended from the Fleet towards Langton Herring we passed through some flower meadows which last year were teeming with butterflies, but alas this year they looked parched and dry with just a couple of Meadow Brown in attendance. Last year we saw loads of Painted Lady and Common Blue there. 

Orange and black butterfly with yellow and blue markings resting on the ground

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: David Parish

Two orange and black butterflies with yellow and blue markings resting on the ground

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: David Parish

David sent us these photos taken on 14/06/2020 with the following comments:

Both of these photos show two Small Tortoiseshells. I saw them when I visited Canford Park SANG by the Stour on Sunday (between Knighton and Canford Magna). Despite being disturbed several times, they returned to their ‘activity’, helpfully adopting different poses!

Orange butterfly with black, yellow and blue markings resting on a green plant

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: George McCabe

George has sent us this photo he took on 31/05/2020 together with the following comment/observation:

I’ve been along the Ridgeway near Weymouth, this weekend and spotted a number of Small Tortoiseshell, and l don’t know if it’s me or the weather, but they all seem so much brighter and colourful than other years, so l sent you a quickly taken picture.  It might just be my amateurish observations 

Editors Note: Would be interesting to hear if others have noticed this.  I have been aware of a larger number than usual of Small Tortoiseshells in my area of North Dorset – the bright colouring could be due to a combination of them being a fresh new brood and the bright sunlight we are experiencing at the moment.

View of an orange butterfly with black and yellowish markings on the wings whilst resting on a green leaf

Comma. Photo: Rob Morrison

View of an orange butterfly with black and cream markings resting on the ground

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Rob Morrison

Rob has sent us these two photos, taken whilst on his allowable exercise walk, together with the following additional comments:

The photo of the Small Tortoiseshell (my first for 2020) was taken on 09/05/2020 on the Kingston Lacy Estate in the area of Old Lawn Farm. This area is heavily farmed (arable) and butterflies are reliant on diminished hedgerows and near non existent field margins for flyways and nectaring.  The area is heavily exposed to wind with little protection available – which may partly explain the battered appearance of both the Comma and Small Tortoiseshell 

View of orange butterfly with black and yellow markings resting on the trunk of a tree.

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Shona Refoy.

Shona’s butterfly winter famine ended last Friday 06/03/2020.  The wind finally dropped, the sun shone for a while and then she saw her first butterfly of the year – a male Brimstone which flew past her at speed while she was eating lunch in her Corfe Mullen garden so no chance of a photo possible.  However, later that day she went to Kingston Lacy where saw this Small Tortoiseshell basking on a Lime tree, not far from where she had seen two Small Tortoiseshells last Autumn.  Also in the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy she saw a rather tatty Red Admiral nectaring on a Hyacinth – she tells us that she was very happy to see some butterflies for the first time in nearly four months.

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.

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.