The Small Tortoiseshell is not very common here. The best recent day was 20th June 2011, with three on the Self Heal on the front lawn and the Nepeta next to it. The lawn had not been cut in the previous month of dry weather.
It is thought that the arrival of a fresh parasitic wasp contributes to its reduced numbers.
The larval food plants are nettles. This species overwinters as adults which hibernate in dry places. The overwintered adults emerge in spring to produce the first of two broods. The adults of the first brood emerge in late June and July to produce the second brood which emerges in August and September.