Tag Archives: dark green fritillary

An orange butterfly with black markings nectaring on a pink flower

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Dave Martin

This photo of a Dark Green Fritillary was taken by Dave Martin at Ballard Down on 09/07/2021.

It is a spectacular, fast flying butterfly which favours open country.  It is larger and more powerful than all our other Fritillaries apart from the Silver-washed which prefers woodland areas with rides and glades.

Two orange butterflies with black markings, one of them perched on a purple flower

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona was at Badbury Rings on 25/06/2021 taking photos of Dark Green Fritillaries nectaring on Knapweed and has sent in this photo saying:

I’m interested in the reaction of the female in the photo when she was approached by a male DGF.

What is happening at the tip of her abdomen? I’ve had a look in my text books, but am none the wiser – can anyone enlighten me please?

Editor’s Note:

This was a query I felt needed wiser counsel that I personally could offer so I referred the photo to Bill Shreeves who told me that Jeremy Thomas & Richard Lewington mention that males locate female Dark Green Fritillaries by picking up their scent and that he would guess that this is what might be happening in this photo.

Lynda Lambert who saw also the photo said she thought that it looks to her like the female is displaying the classic mating refusal position and that maybe if she has literally just mated with another male the tip of her abdomen may present like this.

Bill then advised that Lynda might be correct especially as he couldn’t remember how female DGFs send invitations to mate. He thought probably via tufts on the abdomen.

Bill and Lynda’s comments were then sent to Shona who agreed that it is probably a mating refusal.

However, Shona also mentioned that she took a number of other photos of this same butterfly nectaring before this photo was taken.  In these other photos Shona said the tip of the abdomen looks normal, as it does immediately afterwards and she didn’t think that it looks like that because she has just mated – it was only when the male appeared that the tip of her abdomen flared open.

If anyone reading this posting has any other ideas or suggestions about this do please let us know via the “Comment” link below.

View of an orange butterfly with black markings resting on some green vegetation

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Ann Barlow

Ann had a quick visit to Badbury Rings yesterday, 27/06/2021 and has sent in this photo of a Dark Green Fritillary she saw there.  She also mentioned that as well as the Dark Green Fritillaries, there were quite a few Marbled Whites about, a few Small Heaths and one Small Blue adding that as it was overcast, they were all settling in a helpful way.

View of an orange butterfly with black, brownish and white markings resting on the ground

Painted Lady. Photo: Ann Barlow

View of an orange butterfly with black markings on a yellow flower

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Ann Barlow

Badbury Rings seems to have been the place to visit yesterday and here are two photos from Ann who sent them in telling us:

I was at Badbury Rings again yesterday, 20/06/2021 hunting Dark Green Fritillaries and saw several but they were not being very cooperative.  Also saw a Painted Lady there too. – in fact I saw 10 species of butterfly, and 4 species of moth but not a single white amongst them.

A brownish orange butterfly with some black markings resting on a green leaf

Small Skipper. Photo: Shona Refoy

An orange butterfly with black markings nectaring on a yellow flower

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Shona Refoy

Two photos from Shona sent in telling us:

I had just driven back from Norfolk (where I saw Swallowtails), when I went for a quick walk at Badbury Rings with my daughter this afternoon, 20/06/2021 and was delighted to see my first Small Skipper and my first Dark Green Fritillaries of the year – both of these butterflies are males.

An orange butterfly with black markings nectaring on a yellow flower

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Gary Holderness

An orange butterfly with black markings resting on a yellow flower

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Gary Holderness

Two photos from Gary taken at Badbury Rings yesterday afternoon, 07/06/2021.  Gary told us that despite the cloudy conditions there were still plenty of butterflies about including this Dark Green Fritillary which was his first one of the 2021 season.