Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma)
Male of f. meriodionalis. Taken at Golobradovo, Bulgaria, on June 20th 2014.
(1/320th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize.)
Male underside. Taken at the Maritza River, Bulgaria, on June 19th 2014.
(1/125th sec st f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize)
Female of f. meriodionalis. Taken nr Bansko, Bulgaria, on July 26th 2015.
(1/200th sec at f14. Approx 2.5x lifesize.)
Female underside. Taken in the Velebits National Park, Croatia, on June 11th 2017.
(1/640th sec at f14. Approx 2.5x lifesize)
© David Hastings
DescriptionWing span: 35 - 50mm
Several forms of this butterfly have been identified in recognition of considerable individual, local and geographical variation. The male of form meriodionalis has fiery-red upper surfaces with few hindwind spots. The female has grey on her forewings.
The Spotted Fritillary is widely distributed in central and southern Europe, north Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean islands.
It can be found in a wide variety of habitats, for example dry, flowery places; woodland or scrub clearings; meadow; dry rocky gullies; marginal areas of cultivation.
This species is bi- or tri-voltine. In Europe, adults are on the wing from mid-April to September. The larva is the over-wintering stage.
The larvae feed on various plants, including Linaria, Plantago lanceolata, Veronica, Centaurea jacea and Digitalis purpurea.