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Butterfly Glanville Fritillary

Glanville Fritillary - Photo  Copyright 2005 Janine Martin
Photo: Janine Martin

UK Safari Tip:
To help you identify British butterflies there's a beautifully illustrated fold out chart in the Nature Shop - click here

Latin name: Melitaea cinxia

Size: Wingspan approximately 38mms.

Distribution: Scarce. Found on the Isle of Wight and The Channel Islands.

Months seen: May to June.

Habitat: Fields with fairly short grasses - often close to the sea. Generally on sandy soils.

Food: Nectar. The caterpillars feed on plantains.

Special features: Named after Eleanor Glanville, the 18th century amateur naturalist. The hind wings feature a row of black dots inside orange spots which make it distinctive from similar species like the Marsh Fritillary.

Click for a better viewThe undersides of the wings are decorated just as beautifully as the upper surfaces.

The black caterpillars, which have short hairs along their bodies, and brown heads, feed on plantains. The butterfly is sometimes called the 'Plantain Fritillary on account of this. They can sometimes be found basking on top of a silk web which they spin over their foodplants.

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UK Safari Butterfly Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved