|Common Nettle and Small Nettle.
Betony, Bramble, Dandelion, Devil's-bit Scabious and Field Scabious. .
Male: 45 - 55 mm.
52 - 62 mm.
Any time of the year, even on the last days of December or first days
of January if the temperature is high enough to wake them from
However, adults normally emerge from hibernation at the end of March
and start of April. There are typically 2 broods each year, except in
the north, where there is usually only a single brood.
This butterfly has always fluctuated in numbers, but the cause of the
most-recent decline is not yet known, although various theories have been proposed. One is the increasing presence of a particular parasitic fly,
Sturmia bella.The fly lays its eggs on leaves of the foodplant, close
to where larvae are feeding. The tiny eggs are then eaten whole by the
larvae and the grubs that emerge feed on the insides of their host,
avoiding the vital organs. A fly grub eventually kills its host and
emerges from either the fully-grown larva or pupa before itself