Category Archives: Small Tortoishell

Chrysalis of the Small Tortoishell Butterfly

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Im bubbling over with excitement as I have just discovered a chrysalis attached to our garden wall, of all the places to pick. We have acres of grassland plants, nettles, thistles and trees and it picks the side of the cottage we walk past everyday.

I have been trying to find some Chrysalis’s this year so I could capture a complete photo diary for you; but Im not sure how long this has been there. I feel its only been a few days as we would have noticed it. I have been looking for for weeks now for a Chrysalis to follow while I’ve been photographing the butterflies everyday, so Im super excited to finally find one.

As far as my NEW British Butterfly ID book (see my full review) can show me; it looks like a Small Tortoiseshell chrysalis. The large Tortoiseshell has a lighter smoother outer shell.

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From dull brown dead leaf look to stunning oranges and yellows. I was so pleased with this image as he was really obliging letting me take a photo of him for my review, with the book right next to it.  But its a complete coincidence that I only just posted my review of this book today and actually needed to ID the chrysalis today lol.

Im really looking forward to this little guy emerging and hoping to capture a photographic diary of the complete metamorphosis.

This gorgeous Crysalis is so well camouflaged for woodland environment, how could you not think this is a curled dead leaf.

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This is only hanging from one small bead of silk, so I will be keeping a close eye to check it doesn’t get blown off as it doesn’t have the protection of any surrounding plants or hedges.

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The detailing and colouration is really gorgeous, it looks like some sort of alien Dragon hanging upsidown on the wall; its a stunning chrysalis.

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If you look closely you can see the colouration starting to appear within the chrysalis itself.

Ive been watching butterflies all my life and I’ve never got bored of this miracle of nature. Ive found a few Chrysalis ‘s but this will be the first time I have the opportunity to document it from my own garden. Fingers crossed and hopefully it will make it out into a stunning Small Tortie.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings Dragonflies and horseflies and my first Butterflies inflight images, I’m so excited.

Thanks for popping by

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Blue tits and Butterflies

Well as you can see I do like my butterflies, but it wasnt planned to have butterflies on almost every post on Natural Ramblings; its just what Ive been able to capture over the last week or more.

All my 6 Buddleia bushes are almost in full bloom and thank goodness they are all staggered; meaning my beloved bugs get to have food and supplies for a bit longer.

Well as I mentioned weve had some gorgeous hot weather over the past few weeks up until the last few days when weve had some heavy storms and sadly some of the butterflies are looking a bit worse for wear.

These delicate insects struggle enough to get from catapillar to butterfly especially in my garden with approximately 8 great tit and blue tit fledgelings, Ive been watching the poor parents run ragged with mouthfuls of caterpillas…eeep, I cant even find these caterpillas to phptograph….I need to follow those parents with my camera 🙂

A few photos I managed to capture of my Bluetit fledglings, I had to smile at how chubby he is compared to Mum and Dad and his 2 siblings seen either side. Is it just me or does he remind you of Orville..”I wish I could fly”

(Please click for larger images)

So with loads of chicks to feed my sudden butterfly explosion is dwindling as I type, but how can I choose who I would rather live, I adore my birds and insects, it has to be a balance with nature and you can never choose. But I still have a sad fleeting moment when I see a mouthful of wriggling caterpillars being stuffed into that gaping mouth. But then an immediate aww his gonna be a chubby one when you see his cute yellow fluffy face.

(Please click for larger more detailed images)

Back to our bad storms we had a few days ago I was photographing the butterflies and found this poor ragged Tortoishell buttefly feeding…yes you guessed it…on my Buddliea… 🙂

The fascinating thing was about this injured Tortie was that as I watched him I started to notice the many Comma butterflies bombard the poor thing knocking him clean off the flower sprigs. They were either being territorial or they sensed a weaker butterfly. I had to flap so hard to get back up onto another flower but within seconds to be knocked off agaon. It took all my will power not to protect him. I had to watch painfully as he struggled to fly to his next flower…Sadly I feel he wont be with us much longer.

The Tortoishell Butterfly Nymphalis urticae is another popular UK butterfly with its distinct mosaic effect colouration and beautiful blue spots around the edging of its wings. If you want to attract this gorgeous bug to your garden, you should not only grow Buddleia and Sedum spectibile but let the nettles grow nearby as they larvae need their food too. Dont clear away all your nettles its a the larval foodplant of many butteflies and insects.

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

This is one of the evil culprits as beautiful as they are!

Take some time out in your day…to just watch…its great theraputic value for you to lose yourself and you get to see some fascinating things; you are always learning with wildlife however large or small.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings more Bees, hatching ladybirds and Swallow fledglings….maybe a few more butterflies.

Thanks for coming by

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