Well done to Dave for getting such a crisp shot of a female Marsh Fritillary laying eggs! Taken at Lyndlinch Common on the Butterfly Walk led by Colin Burningham on 27/05/2019, which had a good turnout. Dave says the butterflies were flying well when it wasn’t cloudy, and he saw a mating pair as well as this egg-laying female.
This mating pair were caught at Lyndlinch Common, in North Dorset, one of our best sites for the Marsh Fritillary, on 18/05/2019. It looks like the female is the one in the top of the picture: her body is broader, and females are often paler and slightly larger than males.
Mark reports that he had a few hours at Compton Down (North Dorset) and found it “awash with butterflies” including this Marsh Fritillary: a “nice dark coloured specimen”.
The season is progressing: the Marsh Fritillaries are out! This is a shot of the first one Shona has ever seen: let’s hope we can help them flourish, so she can see lots more. Giant Hill, Cerne Abbas, 13/05/2019
This is not a combination of butterflies you find very often: John did very well to capture them both in the same shot. Taken at Hod Hill on 11/05/2019.
Kathy Henderson has been keeping a watchful eye on some of the Marsh Fritillary larval webson the Butterfly Conservation Reserve at Alners Gorse
Dave Law went looking for some Marsh Fritillary nests – and found them! Continue reading
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.
Dave found this freshly emerged Marsh Fritillary at Cerne Abbas on 15/05/18. It has one brood and is generally seen in the UK May- July.
It is probably the most variable of all the European fritillaries in respect to size and ground colour of the upper sides of fore and hind-wings.
It has adapted to a wide variety of habitats in Europe but in the UK it is mostly found in grassy, flowery places which hosts the caterpillar foodplant, devils bit scabious.
Dave Law got these great photos at our Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve on 24/05/2017.