Dark Green Fritillary (Speyeria aglaja)
Species

Male. Taken at Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon., on June 30th 2016.
(1/200th sec at f13. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon., on June 24th 2017.
(1/805th sec at f13. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken at Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon., on June 30th 2016.
(1/400th sec at f13. © David Hastings)

Taken at Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon., on July 14th 2018.
(1/400th sec at f16. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 59 - 69 mm

This large orange and black butterfly makes an impressive sight as it glides over scrubby downland or coastal dunes.

This species is widespread and common in most of Europe, including the British Isles. There are two subspecies - aglaja occurs through the range of the species, with the exception of Ireland, Scotland (although it is found in southern Scotland), and the Isle of Man. scotica is found in Ireland, Scotland (except southern Scotland), and the Isle of Man. The female of this form is darker than normal female.

Its habitat is open grassy, flowery slopes, clearings in light woodland, damp meadows and heaths. It is most frequent on calcareous soils.

Adults generally emerge in the middle of June, reaching a peak in early July. In northern Scotland, adults emerge a little later at the end of June, reaching a peak at the end of July/early August. There is one generation each year. The larva is the overwintering stage.

The primary larval foodplants are Common Dog-violet, Hairy Violet and Marsh Violet.

Adults frequent Thistles and Knapweeds.

Males make rapid gliding flights as they patrol in search of females or nectar sources. Females crawl among vegetation to lay their eggs.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.

Sightings

31-Jul-2019 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (5)
21-Jul-2019 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (10)
21-Jul-2019 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (14)
16-Jul-2019 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
10-Jul-2019 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (3)
30-Jun-2019 : Fence Wood, Berks (1m)
29-Jun-2019 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (4)
22-Jun-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
16-Jun-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)

24-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
23-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
20-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
19-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
14-Jul-2018 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (11)
14-Jul-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (18)
12-Jul-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
10-Jul-2018 : Greenham Common, Berks (1)
04-Jul-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (30)
24-Jun-2018 : Wasdale, Cumbria (1)
14-Jun-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)

23-Jul-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (6)
24-Jun-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (8+)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia

30-Jul-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
14-Jul-2016 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1)
05-Jul-2016 : Smardale Gill NNR, Cumbria (3)
03-Jul-2016 : Arnside Knott, Cumbria (1f)
30-Jun-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (4m,2f)

16-Aug-2015 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1f)
30-Jul-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1f)
23-Jul-2015 : Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria
18-Jul-2015 : Crookham Common, Berks (1m)
11-Jul-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (3)
04-Jul-2015 : Calvert Jubilee, Bucks (6)
16-Jun-2015 : Heddon Valley, Devon (2)