Today, after a fortnight of no sightings, I have seen 3 Small Tortoiseshells several miles apart. All 3 looked reasonably fresh insects but are much too early to be this year's generation( I only saw my first caterpillar nest today). Last year I had a third brood of caterpillars that I collected in September which pupated in mid October. Most hatched in November but some pupa failed to emerge but continued to look healthy for a while before dying sometime during the winter. Is it possible that the butterflies I saw today overwintered as pupae rather than as adults as other Nymphalidae such as the Queen of Spain Fritillary do?