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Scarce Fritillary

Euphydryas maturna

  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: True Brushfoots – Nymphalinae
  • Wing span: Medium-sized, 35–48 mm (1.37–1.87 in.). Females on average larger than males.
  • Wing upper side: Red, white–yellowish white, and dark brownish violet strips, which occasionally separate into blotches. Wing veins dark.
  • Wing underside: Forewing orange, with yellowish white pattern. Hind wing orange, basal part with yellowish white blotches, middle with yellowish white lateral strip, and edge with yellowish white arcs. The patches are surrounded by a thin black stripe, which also bisects the lateral strip. Wing veins black especially at wing edges.
  • Habitat: Forest meadows, rocky slopes.
  • Flying time: Mid-June–early July.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar.
  • Larval foodplant: Common cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense), guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) and long-leaved speedwell (Veronica longifolia).
  • Endangerment: Protected.

The majority of the entire EU scarce fritillary population lives in eastern and south-eastern Finland.

The scarce fritillary can be told apart from its close relatives by its white or yellowish-white strips and the fact that it has no rows of blotches in the margins of its hind wings. Males defend their territories in trees and bushes 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 (although large caterpillars overwinter alone on the forest floor).

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

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