Tag Archives: Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Over 5 million records of butterflies in Dorset!

View of an orange and black butterfly with its wings open
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Brian Arnold.

We are working on bringing you the full 2020 Butterfly Report, which has sent us trawling through our database of butterfly records. The number of butterflies counted from the mid 1990s to May 2021 is 5,608,000, Continue reading

Orange butterfly with black and white markins resting on green gorse.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Brian Arnold

View of a black and white butterfly resting on a green plant

Marbled White. Photo: Brian Arnold

Brian sent us these two photos he took on 09/06/2020 together with the following comments:

I did the transect count at Godlingston Heath this morning and saw 6 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary – this one was perched on gorse. Later in the afternoon I saw my first Marbled White this year in our garden at Harman’s Cross near Swanage – it is very early for this species! Looks as if a bird took a fancy to its wing!

Brian is quite right about the Marbled Whites being early this year – the first recorded sighting of one sent to Dorset BC this year was on 19/05/2020 whereas in 2019 it was on 05/06/2019

White, brown and orange butterfly with some black markings resting on a green gorse bush

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Shona Refoy

Orange, brown and creamy white butterfly with some black markings nectaring on a white bramble flower

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Shona Refoy

Two photos from Shona taken on 02/06/2020 sent to us with the following comments:

I went to Godlingston Heath, being mindful not to trample the habitat. But I needn’t have worried; I had only walked a few metres when the first butterfly flew in and sat on the path in front of me! He then moved to a nearby Gorse bush, where he sat with his wings firmly closed and did not budge, presumably because of the heat? I did notice that he was very well camouflaged, looking remarkably like a dried-up Gorse flower.

I saw other Small Pearl-bordered Frits flying but not settling, apart from the male in the second photo, who had a brief nectaring session on a Bramble flower, very close to where I took the first photo.

Orange butterfly with black and white markings nestling amongst some green vegetation

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Brian Arnold

Orange butterfly with black markings perching on a white flower

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Brian Arnold

Brian has sent us these two photos taken when he went to a site near Swanage on 01/06/2020 to do a count for the National Trust and there he found 4 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

Orange butterfly with black markings resting on green vegetation

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Harold Gillen

Harold was well rewarded on his visit to Studland view point yesterday, 30/05/2020 where he saw two Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and he has sent us this photo of one of them. This species is easily confused with the very similar Pearl-bordered Fritillary and although there are some differences in the markings on the upperside of the wings, the most reliable field mark is the pattern of the hindwing underside which can be seen illustrated in a good butterfly guide book.

Orange ,red ,brown highly patterned butterfly on trefoil flowersand

Small Pearl bordered Fritillary .Photo: Brian Arnold

Brian walked on Godlingstone Heath on 23/06/19 and tells us:

I counted 14 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary – the warm humid weather today appears to have caused them to emerge, as all of them looked very fresh. It would seem that they are emerging rather later than last year, maybe due to the cold early June weather

As this colony is very small and vulnerable to disturbance can we ask anyone visiting Godlingstone Heath to please avoid trampling the habitat. which will hopefully give this beautiful butterfly a chance to increase in numbers.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Olly Frampton

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Underside). Photo: Olly Frampton

Photographed at Godlingston Heath, near Studland on 21/06/2015. Olly also says that despite the less than ideal wind conditions, at least 5 were recorded in an area of no more than 200m2 but all were very approachable for photographs. He adds ‘It was a real treat to see them, knowing how rare they are becoming in Dorset’.

If you have seen this butterfly in Dorset, please report your sighting(s) via our easy to use, Online Recording Form