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Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly | by Paul_Wheeler
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Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

I have posted this photo of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais urticae), and wish to draw attention to it's decline here in the UK over recent years. They are certainly becoming a rare sight.


Numbers of this once very common butterfly have suffered a dramatic decline, and are down by over 80% in the UK. The problem may be linked to climate change, but another suspect is the tiny parasitoid fly, Sturmia bella, first noted in Britain in 1999. Its arrival from Southern Europe is either the result of climate change or an unwitting introduction from caterpillars brought in from Europe.


Also, after the wet summers experienced over the last few years, Britain's butterflies are in desperate need of good weather. If things don't change we will see a population "catastrophe"!


Thank you for visiting, and I wish you all a good week ahead :)

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Taken on August 10, 2011