Small tortoisehell

Aglais urticae
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The Independent Online

Along with the “cabbage whites”, this has long been among the most well-known of Britain’s butterflies, widespread and common in many gardens in spring and autumn, often in large numbers.

But over the last decade it has dropped in numbers alarmingly and in some places has disappeared.

Larval foodplants: stinging nettles.

Where seen: almost any habitat, from city centres to mountain tops.

Current conservation status: Decrease of 59 per cent 1976–2008, with a steeper decline over the last decade, possibly due to new parasite ITALS Sturmia bella ITALS, though other factors may be involved.