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Small Tortoiseshell

Aglais urticae


The Small Tortoiseshell is one of the most common and widespread butterflies of Europe. One of the first butterflies out of hibernation in spring, this strong flyer is seen well into the autumn. The adult is striking with orange wings with black, white and yellow patterns, and with a row of blue triangles around the rear edge. The underwings are dull and help to camouflage stationary or individuals.


Spotted in a prealpine meadow, alt. 1400 m ASL. Distribution: throughout temperate Europe, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Siberia, China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan.


The common wasp feeds on the Tortoiseshell's pupae.

No species ID suggestions


DanielePralong 6 years ago

Thanks Satyen!

Wild Things
Wild Things 6 years ago

Fabulous spotting!

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Thank you Atul! These guys are everywhere now. I spotted the first ones back in March though, just coming out of hibernation. There was still snow around at the time.

Atul 6 years ago

Beautiful !
the butterfly season has begun here too!hope to spot some good ones soon :-)

Châtel-Saint-Denis, Fribourg - Freiburg, Switzerland

Lat: 46.51, Long: 6.97

Spotted on Jun 14, 2012
Submitted on Jun 20, 2012

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