Iâr Fach Amryliw
Fairly common butterfly
in Lleyn, farmland provides suitable habitat so long
as Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are tolerated and there is an adequate
supply of nectar sources. Fortunately, nettles are resistant to sheep grazing
as are several species of thistle each of which can be used for nectaring.
Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) is particularly favoured in this respect
but many other flowers are also used especially in gardens.
The Small Tortoiseshell overwinters, as an adult, in sheltered places such as
outbuildings or hollow trees and can become active on warm days throughout the
winter. In North Wales there are two broods each summer with the eggs laid in
large batches on the foodplant. The larvae continue to live gregariously and
are usually rather conspicuous. When mature they disperse in search of a pupation