Last June on a lovely sunny day I noticed a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, flying around our hen run, landing on some young nettles, Urtica dioica, that I had previously cut down. Once it had gone I had a look at one particular nettle plant that it had been showing a great interest in and found an egg. Thinking that it wouldn’t have a chance of survival I picked the nettle and put it in some water in the house.
The egg was laid on the 25th June and four days later I noticed that it had hatched. The caterpillar was a clear green colour with a black head and it remained in the smallest leaves at the top of the nettle, where it weaved a small silk shelter.