SJ8958 : Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

taken 8 years ago, near to Biddulph Moor, Staffordshire, Great Britain

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
This lovely butterfly was resting amongst the grass beside the footpath from Little Wickenstones Farm to Firwood Road.

The Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) is one of our most familiar butterflies, appearing in gardens throughout the British Isles and is often the first to appear after hibernation and can still be seen flying in the late Autumn. Unfortunately, this butterfly seems to have suffered a worrying decline, especially in the south, over the last few years. Its numbers have always fluctuated, but the cause of the most recent decline is thought be caused by the increasing presence of a particular parasitic fly, Sturmia bella. The fly lays its eggs on leaves of the food plant, close to where the butterfly larvae are feeding. The tiny eggs are then eaten whole by the larvae and the grubs that emerge feed on the insides of their host, avoiding the vital organs. The fly grub eventually kills its host and emerges from either the fully-grown larva or pupa before it pupates. For information on the Small Tortoiseshell see the Butterfly Conservation website LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) , for more information on the parasite problem see LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) .
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SJ8958, 91 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 20 July, 2011   (more nearby)
Sunday, 24 July, 2011
Geographical Context
Grassland  Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 895 580 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:7.1821N 2:9.4467W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 895 580
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Small Tortoiseshell  Butterfly  Aglais Urticae  Grass 

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