A January Butterfly

with No Comments

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly  (Aglais urticae) overwintering in  Cornwall © 2019 Steve Ogden

A Small Tortoiseshell found fluttering in the bathroom is my first butterfly of the year.

A welcome sight despite the butterfly having been prematurely aroused from its overwintering slumber by the warmth of the central heating.

Without any nectaring sources and low temperatures outside overwintering butterflies can weaken quickly if becoming active.

Having coaxed gently onto a stick I quickly took a couple of photographs before transferring to the cooler garage to complete its sleep. During this manoeuvre the butterfly briefly opened its wings to reveal surprisingly pristine wings, as fresh as if just emerged.

Other butterflies commonly found overwintering in houses and garden sheds are The Peacock and The Comma. The Brimstone butterfly also overwinters but is scarcer and less likely to be found in urban areas.

The January Speckled Wood Butterfly photographed in the garden being an exception.