Eggs and caterpillars are found on nettles from May onwards. Adults are seen on flowers in gardens, grassland and woodland edges from mid June onwards until the end of summer, then they hibernate, and emerge the following spring to mate.
Caterpillars can reach 4.2 cm long, adult wingspan is up to 6.0 cm.
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Caterpillars feed on mallows, thistles, and nettles in a shelter of leaves during the summer, and reach 28 mm long.
Pupation takes place inside the leaf shelter.
Adults emerge mid to late summer, but cannot survive the British winter.
More on the Painted lady and similar butterflies
Common in open country.
The adult males and females look similar, though there is a wide colour variation in this species.
The eggs are yellowish, and laid singly on the underside of sorrel and dock on which the caterpillar feeds.
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The adults are fairly common from March - May and July - October
For more on the small tortoiseshell and similar butterflies
Caterpillars on stinging nettle inside leafy tent from June - July or August.
Pupa inside leaf shelter July and August.
Adults August until autumn.
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