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Butterfly  Queen of Spain Fritillary

Queen of Spain Fritillary - Photo  Copyright 2008 Philip Bland

Latin name: Issoria (Argynnis) lathonia

Size: Wingspan approximately 30mm.

Rare immigrant showing up mainly in the southern half of England.

Months seen: May to October.

Habitat: Meadows, downs, dunes and cliffs.

Food: Nectar. Caterpillars feed on field pansy (viola arvensis).

Special features: Queen of Spain Fritillaries are a rare visitor to the UK. The upper surface of the wings are orange with black markings. The photo above shows the male which has small green patches where the wings meet the body. The female has similar markings but with much larger green patches.

The markings on the undersides of the wings are similar in both sexes with these distinctive pearl coloured patches (below).

Queen of Spain Fritillary - Photo  Copyright 2008 Philip Bland

It's possible the butterflies lay eggs here but the adults are not yet able to survive the winter weather.

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UK Safari Butterfly Section

  2008 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved