The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Aglais urticae) is a medium-sized insect in the Nymphadidae family of Eurasian butterflies.
The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly is mainly reddish-orange wih black and yellow markings on its forewings (front wings) and a ring of blue spots around the edge of its wings.
The adult butterfly has a wingspan of 4-6 centimetres (2 inches).
It is found in Europe and Asia. The adult butterfly is usually seen from early spring to late autumn.
Its life cycle is egg, larva (caterpillar), chrysalis (casing, like a cocoon), and adult butterfly.
The caterpillar is the larval stage of the butterfly, after its hatches from the egg. The caterpillar has a soft body without an internal skeleton, so it is an invertebrate. The adult butterfly is also an invertebrate.
It is yellow and grey-black. It has abdominal segments. On each segment is a pair of legs, called prolegs. There are usually five pairs of prolegs.
The caterpillar is herbivorous, eating nettle leaves. It eats a lot and grows quickly. It can grow up to 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) long. Then it forms a casing called a pupa where it undergoes metamorphosis and becomes a butterfly.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM