tortoiseshell

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tortoiseshell,

horny, translucent, mottled plates covering the carapace of the tropical hawksbill turtle. The plates, too thin for most purposes in their original form, are usually built up in layers that are molded or compressed after the surfaces have been liquefied by heat; thus, a firm union is effected after resolidification. Inlays can be imbedded in the shell with a hot iron. Tortoiseshell has been used in veneering since ancient times; its chief use today is in the manufacture of toilet articles and decorative objects. It is imitated in products of celluloid and horn, but the laminated structure of most genuine work aids in identifying the real shell.
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tortoiseshell

1. a horny translucent yellow-and-brown mottled substance obtained from the outer layer of the shell of the hawksbill turtle: used for making ornaments, jewellery, etc.
2. a breed of domestic cat, usually female, having black, cream, and brownish markings
3. any of several nymphalid butterflies of the genus Nymphalis, and related genera, having orange-brown wings with black markings
4. tortoiseshell turtle another name for hawksbill turtle
5. a yellowish-brown mottled colour
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
It has big daisy-like fragrant flower heads with a central orange-brown cone that makes a great landing pad for comma and small tortoiseshell butterflies.
And scarce tortoiseshell butterflies - rarely seen in the UK - were spotted as far north as Tyneside.
Common blue numbers were up by 55%, red admirals were up by 43% on last year, speckled wood sightings increased by 28% and the small tortoiseshell records increased by 22%.
According to Butterfly Conservation, the small tortoiseshell has become increasingly rare across the south over five years - possibly as a result of a parasitic fly.
It at tracts comma and small tortoiseshell butterflies.
I'vefound several small tortoiseshells in January over the years,but worst of all was a comma,its raggedy wings in perfect condition,but not long for this world,as it shivered on a grassy bank.
I saw my first peacock butterflies at a sunny bend of the mountain road north of Nantymoel on March 25 and there were small tortoiseshells at Lock's Common and Rest Bay that same day.
He said that the coloured cats "flew out the door" and the most popular were greys, silver tabbies and tortoiseshells.
DEEP SLEEP: where better for this Small Tortoiseshell to hibernate than in bed Picture:
The large tortoiseshell, meanwhile, was lost as a breeding species in the UK more than 40 years ago, but this year was regularly seen in southern England during the summer.