If you can't beat them...

By Jerra

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Aglais urticae)

Suddenly we have butterflies.  After hardly seeing any all summer the Buddleia is awash with them.  The strong breeze (or should that read howkling gale) meant they spent much of their time on the leeward side of the bush and flew less than usual.  The scientific name shows how they rely on nettles (Urtica Sp) for the catterpillars to feed on.

These are probably the UKs commonest butterfly.  It has had a had a little bit of a set back owning to global warming increasing the range of a parasitic fly.  However it is doing much better than the Large Tortoiseshell which is presumed extinct in the UK and deceasing on the continent.

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