A male Dark Green Fritillary feeding on the flowers of a large buddleia at Harbury North. © 2014 - 2021 Steven Cheshire.
Although this large powerful butterfly is one of the UK's most widespread Fritillaries, it is rarely encountered in Warwickshire. The upper sides are a golden orange-brown colour with a pattern of black spots and crescents. The females tend to be paler in colour. Its name is derived from the colouration of the underside of its wings which a green leading to pale yellow-brown with pure white spots.
During hot sunny days, the males fly constantly in search of females displaying a distinctive flight pattern of rapid wing beats followed by a fast graceful glide.
The Dark Green Fritillary can be found in a range of flower-rich grasslands with patches of scrub. Occasional sightings in the region are the result of vagrants. As such, it is one of our rarest butterflies with only one known breeding site at Oxhouse Farm.
The larvae of the Dark Green Fritillary feed on Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana), Hairy Violet (Viola hirta) and Marsh Violet (Viola palustris).
See maps below. Distribution text required.