Small tortoiseshell caterpillars

Small tortoiseshell caterpillars

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Credit: DAVID AUBREY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Small tortoiseshell butterfly caterpillars (Aglais urticae), living socially on a stinging nettle leaf (Urtica dioica). During the larval stage, the caterpillars group together, spinning a silken tent from behind which they feed on the host plant. They are fully grown by four weeks, measuring approximately 2 centimetres in length. The butterfly is common throughout much of the Palearctic region, from Europe to the Far East.

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Keywords: aglais urticae, animal, biological, biology, caterpillar, caterpillars, colony, eating, entomology, fauna, feeding, insect, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, larvae, leaf, leaves, many, multiple, nature, nettles, small tortoiseshell butterfly, stinging nettle, urtica dioica, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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