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Dark Green Fritillary

Speyeria aglaja

  • Latin synonym: Argynnis aglaja
  • Family: Brushfooted Butterflies (Four-footed Butterflies) – Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Heliconians (Longwings) – Heliconiinae
  • Wing span: Medium-sized–large, 45–58 mm (1.76–2.26 in.). Females larger than males.
  • Wing upper side: Orange with black blotches.
  • Wing underside: Forewing orange with black blotches. Basal part of hind wing brown and greenish with shiny silver blotches. Outer part yellow, margin with row of shiny silver blotches.
  • Habitat: Meadows, forest and grazing land with an abundance of flowers.
  • Flying time: Late June–mid-August.
  • Overwintering form: Caterpillar.
  • Larval foodplant: Violets and pansies (Viola), e.g. common dog violet (V. riviniana) and wild pansy (V. tricolor).

According to the number of species, the Brushfooted Butterflies are the largest family of butterflies with over 6,000 species and 11 subfamilies. The best-known species in Finland is probably the small tortoiseshell, which is a member of the subfamily True Brushfoots (Nymphalinae).

The dark green fritillary is quite common and can be found all over Finland. It can be told apart from other large Heliconians by the greenish shades of the underside of its hind wings, and the shiny silver blotches on them. The yellow outer edge on the underside of the hind wings does not have any dark blotches.

Females lay their eggs one at a time among moss close to the foodplant. The dark green fritillary overwinters as a caterpillar, which (at least quite commonly) only starts to eat the host plant the following spring.

Other species from the same group

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