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Lapland Fritillary

Euphydryas iduna

  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: True Brushfoots – Nymphalinae
  • Wing span: Middle-sized, 32–45 mm (1.25–1.76 in.). Females larger than males.
  • Wing upper side: White (yellowish white) with reddish and brownish black strips. Wing veins brownish black. Leading edge of forewing and basal part of hind wing with reddish blotches.
  • Wing underside: Yellowish white with broad reddish strip and patches. Wing veins brownish black.
  • Habitat: Abundantly-flowered fells, upper part of birch zone and tundra.
  • Flying time: Early-mid July.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar. May overwinter two seasons.
  • Larval foodplant: Probably alpine bartsia (Bartsia alpina) or Lapland lousewort (Pedicularis lapponica), but also other plants such as bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and bog bilberry (V. uliginosum) has also been suggested.
  • Endangerment: Endangered.

The Brushfooted butterflies (Nymphalidae) are the largest butterfly family in the world with over 6,000 species. In Finland the family is represented by around 60 species, which are usually subdivided into 5 subfamilies, of which the True brushfoots (Nyphalinae) are one. The other subfamilies are the Admirals and relatives, Browns, Emperors, and Heliconians.

The Lapland fritillary is northern Finland’s only (yellowish) white-winged (basic colour) butterfly, and it has brownish red and brownish-black strips. Males defend their territory on slopes as they wait for the females, who lay their eggs in bunches on the leaves of the host plant. The caterpillars live on the host plant in colonies in a cobweb nest, where they also overwinter. Sometimes the caterpillar stage demands a second summer, so it will overwinter twice before making its cocoon. This is quite typical of Lapland butterflies.

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

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