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Glanville Fritillary

Melitaea cinxia

  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: True Brushfoots – Nymphalinae
  • Wing span: Medium-sized, 30–45 mm (1.17–1.76 in.). Females slightly larger than males.
  • Wing upper side: Orange, blackish brown strips and veins form a checked, net-like pattern on the wings. The second-outermost row of squares on the hind wing has black spots.
  • Wing underside: Forewing orange with black spots and blotches, wing tip pale yellow. Hind wing with black-edged orange and pale yellow strips. Outermost orange and pale yellow strand with rows of black spots.
  • Habitat: Abundantly-flowered rocky outcrops, grazing land and dry meadows.
  • Flying time: June.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar.
  • Larval foodplant: Spiked speedwell (Veronica spicata) on the western Åland Islands and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata).
  • Endangerment: Endangered.

The Glanville fritillary could still be found around mainland Finland in the 1980s, but nowadays it is only in the Åland Islands.

The Glanville fritillary is the only one of its close relatives in Finland to have a row of black spots on the margin of the hind wing and no white strips or stripes on the upper side of wings. Males defend their territories in and around forests as they wait for females, who lay their eggs in bunches on the underside of the host plant’s leaves. The caterpillars live on the host plant in colonies in a cobweb nest, where they also overwinter. However, groups change their host plants after consuming them completely. The following spring the caterpillars wake up in April and remain as a group until the last (seventh) larval stage, when they separate and make their cocoons nearby around the middle of May.

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

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