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butterfly Pearl-bordered Fritillaries

Identify It >   Butterfly Section >   Pearl-bordered Fritillaries >

Scientific name:  Boloria (Clossiana) euphrosyne

Size:  Wingspan approximately 46mm

Distribution:  Found in many parts of Britain, but absent from Northern Ireland.  This species is in decline.

Months seen:  late April to late June

Life span:  Up to four weeks

Habitat:  Woodland rides and clearings

Food:  Nectar.  The caterpillars feed on violets

Special features:  The Pearl-bordered Fritillary name comes from the markings on the undersides of the hind wings.  The outside edge has a row of seven silvery-white spots which resemble a string of pearls.

The Pearl-bordered Fritillaries could be confused with a very similar species called the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - especially as it's often found on the same sites, and both species have the "string of pearls" pattern on the undersides of their hind wings.  The main difference (apart from the size) can again be noticed on the undersides of the hind wings.  Pearl-bordered fritillaries look more yellowish and have just two silver patches in the middle of the hind wing (one small and one large).  The Small Pearl-bordered fritillaries look more orange and have several silver patches in this area.

The caterpillars of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary start off dark brown and covered in black spikes with short black hairs.  Just prior to pupation the body is black and the spikes are yellow.  There is also a chalky-white line running along each side of the body from front to back.

Pearl-bordered Fritillaries are the first fritillary to appear each year.

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