view of the upper fore and hind-wings of a Dark Green Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark spotted this Dark Green Fritillary at Badbury Rings on 6/06/18 .They only emerged a week or so ago in the UK and when the sun shines there should be good numbers to be found.


It favours open grassy flowery slopes, clearings in light woodland, and damp meadows, heaths and moors.

The caterpillar foodplants are Common Dog, Hairy and Marsh Violets and wild pansies.The caterpillar eats the eggshell on hatching and immediately enters hibernation in a curled up leaf or other piece of debris. The larva emerges in the spring and starts to feed on the tenderest new growth of the foodplant, either eating large chunks out of the leaf lobes, or eating the leaf entirely with the stem left standing. It is most active during sunny periods and can often be seen wandering across bare ground or short turf in search of the foodplant. The mature larva has a distinct colouring, being mostly black with a feint yellow band running down its back and a series of red spots running down each side. There are 5 moults in total.



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