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Freija's Fritillary

Boloria freija

  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies (Four-footed Butterflies) – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Heliconians (Longwings) – Heliconiinae
  • Wing span: Small–medium-sized, 30–40 mm (1.17–1,16 in.). Females larger than males.
  • Wing upper side: Orange with black blotches.
  • Wing underside: Forewing orange with black blotches and spots. Black, very meandering stripe divides hind wing into two parts. Inner part rust-red and white with short meandering stripe. White stripe immediately outside black dividing stripe. Margins with row of white blotches, inner edge of which with black, arrow-shaped arcs. Brownish red area between white stripe and margin blotches with row of darker, unclear blotches.
  • Habitat: Bogs, tundra and thin mountain birch woodland.
  • Flying time: Southern Finland late mid-May–mid-June, Northern Finland late June–mid-July.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar.
  • Larval foodplant: Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), bog-bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), cranberry (V. oxycoccos) and alpine bearberry (Arctous alpina).
  • Endangerment: Near threatened.

Freija’s fritillary is the earliest flyer of Finland’s Heliconians, and its flying time is very short. Good identifying marks are: 1) the sharp-tipped black arcs on the upper side of the hind wings that form margin blotches, 2) the sharp, black, meandering stripe on the underside of the hind wings which has a white stripe outside it and white blotches inside, and 3) its white margin blotches whose inner edge has black, sharp-tipped arcs.

Freija’s fritillary can be found in almost all of Finland except the Åland Islands. In northern Finland, where it is more common, it thrives best around natural bogs, and it disappears from drained areas. Males fly around looking for females, which lay their eggs individually in lichen and moss close to the foodplant.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same subfamily

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