Wren photographed this Marsh Fritillary at Ryewater Nursery, Sherborne on 22/05/18 and says he saw a further four while walking his transect later in the day. These photos were taken at dawn which is why Wren was able to capture the beauty of dewdrops on the antennae.
Hopefully this year will be a better year for Marsh Fritillary, one of our declining species. A number have been reported not only in Dorset, but elsewhere in the UK. Loss of habitat is a major factor in their decline, though Butterfly Conservation and their volunteers carry out a great deal of habitat management to enable this stunning butterfly to survive.
The flight period is May – July in one brood, and the caterpillar foodplant is Devils-bit Scabious, and sometimes honeysuckle.