Small Tortoiseshell

Today marks the vernal equinox, sometimes regarded as the first day of spring.  To celebrate the lengthening days, here’s a great close-up of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais urticae), taken by Nic Cairns at St.Anns Allotments………

 

butterfly

This is one of the most frequently seen British garden butterflies, and as one of the few species which hibernates as an adult (like the Peacock) is often spotted early in the year.  Although it is common, it has declined somewhat in recent years; this is thought to be due to the introduction of a parasitic fly from Europe, whose range may be increasing due to climate change effects….

There are many things you can do in a garden or allotment to encourage butterflies – see here for some ideas.

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