Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

.... and in Manx that's Ruyag veg

Passport crop

The Small Tortoiseshell is one of our most beautifully coloured butterflies. The main ground colour is orange and it has black, yellow and white markings with a blue edge to the wings. It is most commonly seen in gardens during late July and August prior to hibernation. The caterpillar foodplant is stinging nettle. Eggs are laid in large batches and the caterpillars are gregarious until the final stages of growth. Generally doubled brooded in Britain but appears to be primarily single brooded on the Island unless there is a very warm early Spring to allow early egg laying (as in 2007 which yielded a significant second brood). Overwinters as an adult butterfly, often in outbuildings such as garages, warehouses etc. Also often attempts to hibernate in houses but our central heating tends to bring them out of hibernation far too early.

On the wing from late March to mid June and then from late July through to the end of September, although many will have entered into hibernation well before the end of the flight period.

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