Scarce Tortoiseshell

aka Yellow-legs

Thanks to Will Brame who sent these images of a Scarce Tortoiseshell, also known as Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell. He found this one in Suffolk earlier this spring. In the butterfly world it’s an amazing find and follows an unprecedented arrival into Britain of about 7 Scarce Tortoiseshells last July 2014.

There was only one previous record- in 1953 of  a species which normally only occurs east of a line from the Baltic to the Adriatic- eastern Europe and Asia through to China. Some migrant occasionally reach up into Finland and southern Sweden, and its thought some of these proceed to head west into the Netherlands subsequently reaching eastern Britain. Apologies to Will for the late posting. Some of us have been keeping a keen eye out in East Yorkshire. No luck yet though…


IMG_6819 IMG_6822

above- Scarce Tortoiseshell in Suffolk by Will Brame- showing some leg. All photos above by Will Brame.

 How to Identify them? 

This book is a real boon- just published in early 2015, it even mentions the July 2014 arrival. It does a superb job at helping the learners like me to learn the differences between Small Tortoiseshell, Large Tortoiseshell and Scarce Tortoiseshell. see below:


Britain’s Butterflies:k10469
A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland
Fully Revised and Updated Third edition
David Newland, Robert Still, Andy Swash & David Tomlinson





tort three (1 of 1)tort two (1 of 1)

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