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Spread Your Wings ©

naturelover

Wimborne, United Kingdom

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Butterflies of all colours have been in abundance through our hot Summer in the UK. This is the more common Small Tortoiseshell taken this week as it landed on the Michealmas Daisies. Not long before they spread those lovely wings and disappear..
Regarded as one of our most common butterflies the bright orange wings with black spots of the Small Tortoiseshell makes this one of our most easily recognised butterflies. It is fast flying in bright sunshine but can be easily approached when feeding.

The Small Tortoiseshell is a strong flyer and easily colonises suitable habitat. It also hibernates during the winter and is usually one of the first butterflies to be seen in the spring along with other regular hibernators, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Brimstone.

Its larvae feed on Common Stinging Nettle usually in large numbers with young larvae living close together sheltered within a protective silken web. As the larvae reach the final stages of development, they become more independent.

Recent years have seen a rapid decline in numbers of Small Tortoiseshell numbers across Britain. The primary reason for this decline is thought to be due to the expanding range of a tachinid parasitoid fly called Sturmia bella which was first recorded in Britain in 1999.
Featured in Image Writing Oct 2013
Featured in Top Shelf Wildlife Oct 2013
Featured in Just Butterflies Jan 2014
Top Ten place in ‘May Avatar’ Challenge for Bugs & Animals
On Flowers April 2015

Taken with a Pentax Optio RS1000 Compact Camera
27 Favs Apr 2014

Artwork Comments

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