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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Boloria selene

  • Name also: Silver-bordered Fritillary (USA)
  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies (Four-footed Butterflies) – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Heliconians (Longwings) – Heliconiinae
  • Wing span: Small–medium-sized, 30–44 mm (1.17–1.72 in.). Females larger than males (and usually a little darker).
  • Wing upper side: Orange with black blotches.
  • Wing underside: Forewing orange with black blotches and spots. Basal part of hind wing comprised of 3 strips, central strip comprised of reddish brown black-edged checks and outermost part beige, light yellow and white with black-edged checks. Central check in reddish brown belt with strong black spot. Central check in outermost belt usually white. Outer half a combination of reddish brown, beige and white. Margin with row of white or pale yellow blotches with inner edge bordered by black arches or arrows, pointing inwards. Basal part with row of strong black spots.
  • Habitat: Damp and abundantly-flowered grazing land and meadows.
  • Flying time: Early June–late July. Second generation (in August) possible in warm summers.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar. In northern Finland some can overwinter in cocoons.
  • Larval foodplant: Violets and pansies (Viola), e.g. heath dog violet (V. canina) and marsh violet (V. palustris).

The small pearl-bordered fritillary can be found in all of Finland and it is quite common. Good identifying marks are: 1) the margin blotches on the upper side of the hind wings that form a continuous row of sharp, arrow-shaped arcs along the edge of the wing, 2) the prominent black blotch in the middle of the reddish-brown strip on the underside of the hind wing, and 3) the black arrow-shaped or arced edges on the white margin blotches, which have clear black spots inside them.

Males fly around looking for females, who lay their eggs individually on the larvae’s future foodplant, but they have also been observed laying their eggs while flying.

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

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