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Silver-washed Fritillary

Argynnis paphia

  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies (Four-footed Butterflies) – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Heliconians (Longwings) – Heliconiinae
  • Wing span: Large, 53–66 mm (2.01–2.57 in.). Largest Heliconiinae. Females larger than males.
  • Wing upper side: Orange with black blotches. Also rarer female form with darker, brownish violet base colour (valesina, less than 5% of females).
  • Wing underside: Forewing orange with black blotches, front tip greenish. Hind wing greenish, with shiny silver lateral stripes.
  • Habitat: Forest land with abundantly flowered meadows and grazing land.
  • Flying time: Mid-July–early September.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar.
  • Larval foodplant: Violets and pansies (Viola).

In Finland silver-washed fritillaries used to be quite rare and could be found only in south-eastern Finland and the Åland Islands but the species has moved its range margin nothwards and today it can be seen up to southern Lapland. The species differs from other Heliconians as it has greenish and shiny silver stripes on the underside of its hind wings.

At the beginning of the flying season there appears to be many more males than females because males fly around looking for females, which fly less and are of a calmer disposition. Females lay their eggs individually in holes in tree bark, from where the caterpillars make their way to the ground and search for food plants.

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

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