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Noun: tortoiseshell  'tor-tus,shel
  1. The mottled horny substance of the shell of some turtles
  2. Brilliantly coloured; larvae feed on nettles
    - tortoiseshell butterfly
  3. A cat having black and cream-coloured and yellowish markings
    - tortoiseshell-cat, calico cat

Derived forms: tortoiseshells

Type of: brush-footed butterfly, cat, domestic cat, Felis catus, Felis domesticus, four-footed butterfly, horn, house cat, kitty [informal], kitty-cat [informal], mog [Brit, informal], moggie [Brit, informal], moggy [Brit, informal], nymphalid, nymphalid butterfly, puss [informal], pussy [informal], pussycat [informal]

Part of: genus Nymphalis, Nymphalis

Encyclopedia: Tortoiseshell