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Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Another oldie, from Sept 2007 to fill a gap in the butterflies collection. I was ashamed to note how few of these I've taken - note to self to concentrate more on some of the common species this year!

 

In my defence these have become more of a rarity in recent years around here - quite appalling how quickly they have declined. I believe they are suffering at the hands of a new predator from the continent - a parasitic fly, Sturmia bella who's eggs are eaten whole by the caterpillars and who then feed on it and eventually kill it. Another sad consequence of global warming that is already with us!

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Taken on September 30, 2007