Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe)
Species

Male. Taken in the Velebits National Park, Croatia, on June 11th 2017.
(1/80th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken in the Velebits National Park, Croatia, on June 11th 2017.
(1/80th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 35 - 40 mm

A warmth-loving butterfly prone to confusing variability. The hindwind upper surface has a well-defined orange band and no black spots. The sexes are similar.

It is widespread and common in S and C Europe, but largely absent from NW Europe. Many populations are in decline.

It is found in sheltered dry meadows, scrub and light woodland up to 1900m.

It mostly has two broods per year, the first in April/June and the second in July/September.

The larvae feed on a wide range of Knapweeds (Centaurea spp).

Sightings

11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
20-Jul-2015 : nr Samokov, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014 : nr Mirovo, Bulgaria