Large tortoiseshell - Nymphalis polychloros


Family: Nymphalidae.

Flight Time: March/June, June/July (Hibernates).

Size: 50-63mm

Altitude: 0-1700m

The Large tortoiseshell is a widespread European species which has declined in some areas, in fact it is extinct in the UK. I've not managed to photograph a live one, but I found this specimen (presumably a failed hibernation) under a bed in a house I stayed in in the south of France. A bit of a cheat I guess, but illustrates a point.



Fact File

Similar Species Foodplants Habitat Distribution


Elm, Poplar or Willow


Large tortoiseshell distribution.


Early Stages




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