Formal Name: Aglais urticae
Informal Name: Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Conservation Status: Rapid decline in numbers over recent years
Location: Europe and Asia
Average Wingspan (cm): 5.4
Seen Between: March - October
Description: Aglais urticae are informally known as Small Tortoiseshell. They have an average wingspan of 5.4cm and are found in Europe and Asia.
They are seen in UK gardens between March and October. They eat nectar from flowers such as bramble, knapweeds, ivy and thistles. Predators of Aglais urticae include small birds and rodents that can climb.
This butterfly’s numbers have dwindled throughout the last few years due to pollution, climate change and parasites. Droughts cause the larvae to have little to eat. The species often rely on the timing of rainfall for plants to develop a food source.
Aglais urticae have vibrant orange wings on the upper side featuring black and yellow edges with pockets of blue. Similarly to the Peacock Butterfly, they have a dark brown/ black underside. This appearance gives them the ability to blend into the environment.