A largish butterfly with orangey-brown upperside with black spots, and a dull dark-brown underside with a lighter submarginal band. Males and females are similar. The butterfly could be confused for a large dull Aglais urticae, which has a more contrasting underside, and a series of blue submarginal spots on the upperside.
Most frequently encounted in areas with mature tress.
Vicia cordata, White Poplar Populus alba, Black Poplar Populus nigra, Aspen Populus tremula, White Willow Salix alba, Grey Willow Salix cinerea, Bitter Willow/Olive Willow/Hoary Willow/Rosemary Willow/Elaeagnus Willow Salix elaeagnos, Crack Willow Salix fragilis, Almond Willow/Almond-leaved Willow Salix triandra, Hawthorn Crateagus monogyna, Apple Malus domestica - introduced (= Malus pumila), Bird Cherry Prunus avium, Pear Pyrus communis (cultivated) Small-leaved Elm Ulmus minor. Dan Danahar has found fully grown larvae feeding on European Nettle Tree Celtis australis, in Old Perithia.
Adults are strong fliers and mostly observed in the canopies of trees. The butterfly is territorial and is rarely seen nectaring, instead it prefers to bask on the ground and probe the soil or animal feaces with its proboscis for salts and nutrients. Females seem tend to oviposit on low growing host trees, often young saplings. The larvae are communal until fully grown, frequently highly parasitised, (95%) of larvae maybe hosts. the best time to observe this butterfly is in the early spring or late autumn. The insect overwinters as an adult.
*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Large Tortoiseshell submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.
|Year||Number of observations|
The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023 submitted online since 1st January 2023 to 8th June 2023.
The chart below shows flight data by month based on all data submitted online since 1st January 2019 to 8th June 2023.
For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.