Tag Archives: dark green fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary at Badbury Rings

Underwing shot of a Dark Green Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Mark Pike

View of butterfly with open wings

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark says: “Despite cloudy and cool conditions, A magnificent fresh Dark Green Fritillary seen today (30/05/17) at Badbury Rings, Dorset. Even if not the first for 2017 it is the first time for me that I have ever seen one in May!”

The Dark Green is quite a small Fritillary compared to the other one you are more likely to see, the Silver-Washed Fritillary: only 65mm wingspan as compared to 75mm.


Dark Green Fritillary (female). Photo: Dave Law

Dark Green Fritillary (female). Photo: Dave Law

This almost immaculate female Dark Green Fritillary was found at Melbury Down by Dave Law. He believes and we agree with him that the butterfly had only just emerged hours before. Dave adds that after sunning itself for a few moments, it flew off very clumsily before being chased by several males, disappearing shortly after. Photo taken on 13/07/2016.


Dark Green Fritillaries thriving

One amazing piece of news from the folk who did the butterfly monitoring walk on Fontmell Down (North Dorset) in the first week of July, was that they saw 112 Dark Green Fritillaries!

There were actually few parts of the walk without these magnificent freshly-emerged Fritillaries being spotted.

To put this in context, the highest previous counts for these butterflies for all 26 walks in the whole year were 80 in 1986, and 109 in 2012.

Dark Green Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary. Photo: Peter Lister

Dorset Branch Records Officer, Bill Shreeves said:

How this has happened is beyond me at present. Obviously they must have had a good platform from last year to build on, but the 2012 – early 2013 weather was hardly very helpful to the overwintering caterpillars! Count numbers have also been quite high for the adjoining walk at Clubmens Down.

Only one Dark Green has so far been reported to this website, so we’d be very interested in hearing of any seen away from the transect (butterfly monitoring) walks – enter them on our sightings form, or e-mail news@dorsetbutterflies.com.

Dark Green Fritillaries: good news

There are two bits of evidence that the Dark Green Fritillary might be having a good year:

  • A record 31 were counted in one walk at Fontmell Down in the walking week 14 (beginning 5 July). The previous best at Fontmell was 30 in one walk – when the total for the year was 77!
  • A Dark Green Fritillary was seen nectaring on one of the few clumps of Knapweed at Fontmell Magna’s recently created community wood & pond – very surprising.

And now another, on 8 July:

  • Two seen at Badbury Rings, on the South East curve of the Rings (not the South West, as previously stated).

See the Photos page for pictures of the Dark Green Fritillary and many other amazing butterflies.