Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Latin name: Boloria selene

Family: Nymphalidae

Vivid orange wings and black markings give the small pearl-bordered fritillary a striking appearance. This medium-sized butterfly can be found in damp grassland, moorland and wood clearings where its key food sources, the marsh violet and dog violet are found.

It lays its eggs close to its preferred food plants and the caterpillars will spend the winter in the vegetation before emerging as adults from the second week of June. The main flight period of the butterfly lasts until mid-July although small numbers may be seen as late as the beginning of August. It is believed that the lifespan of the adults is approximately two weeks.

In Yorkshire the small pearl-bordered fritillary is restricted to three main areas which are the North York Moors, the Craven lowlands and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Survey work carried out in 2002 found small pearl-bordered fritillary colonies at four sites in the Yorkshire area and three colonies in the Cumbrian part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

At risk?

The species is widespread in Scotland and Wales but there have been large scale declines across much of England. As a result,  the small pearl-bordered fritillary became the subject a national and local biodiversity species action plan.

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Still summer’s song beats in my blood Alan Hartley

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