Small Tortoise Shell

 

 

Small Tortoise Shell

The Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae L.) is a colourful and well-known Eurasian butterfly in the family Nymphalidae and is often found in gardens. The caterpillars feed on stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and small nettle, Urtica urens as do those of several Nymphalid butterflies. Also known in the UK as the King George butterfly.

The adult is striking, with its dark body and red and yellow wings, which have a row of blue dots around the rear edge. However the under wings are dull, which helps to conceal stationary or hibernating individuals. When threatened, resting individuals rapidly open their wings, presenting the dramatic display of colours. This can frighten away young or inexperienced birds.

The butterfly is abundant in most areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland. However numbers often vary yearly. Its commonness may often depend on the status of the common wasp in that particular season, since the wasp is known to feed on the Tortoiseshell’s pupae.

Once a very common sight on Budleia and Privett blooms these beautiful butterflies are now never seen in some areas of Britain.

 

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Small White

Small White

Bit of a change from me, I’m not usually into close-up photography but this butterfly was too good too miss. I’d just finished using the sigma 150-500mm lens to photograph some buzzards when I spotted a bush with all sorts of butterflies on it. Although the sigma lens is not a macro lens it does let you get some good close-up photographs. Best of all you can “stand off” from your subject and not disturb them.

Pictured here is the Small White Butterfly, if not, it’s a Large White

The Small White (Pieris rapae) is a small to medium-sized butterfly species of the Yellows-and-Whites family Pieridae. It is also known as the Small Cabbage White and in New Zealand, simply as White Butterfly. The names “Cabbage Butterfly” and “Cabbage White” can also refer to the Large White.

It is widespread and populations are found across Europe, North Africa, Asia, and Great Britain. It has also been accidentally introduced to North America, Australia and New Zealand where it causes damage to cultivated cabbages and other mustard family crops. The caterpillar stage alone is responsible for crop damage because of which it is referred to as the Imported Cabbageworm.