Small Tortoiseshell on a thistle

A pretty little butterfly, generally widespread but in decline in recent years, particularly in the south. The underside of the wings are more sombre and when closed look like dried leaves concealing them from the eyes of predatory birds. Small tortoiseshells hibernate through the winter in sheds, wood piles and hollow trees. This tortoiseshell was feeding on a thistle but nettles are a favourite food on the caterpillars.
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