Melitaea arduinna

Freyer's Fritillary


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
Photo: arduinna19.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012

Photo: arduinna13.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012

Field notes and information

This is a very local species found in the Balkans. Only in the early 2000s was it found in Serbia in June where it appears to be widespead and locally common in the east. Previously, it seems the lack of records related to university term times - the peak June flight time corresponding to the peak of exam time activity which prevented student and teaching staff making the fairly long journey from Belgrade to this area.

Identification & Similar species: Several similar species are differentiated as follows:

Glanville fritillary M. cinxia: Upperside discal band forms a continuous line. Hindwing post discal row of black spots on upper and undersides. Upperside ground colour uniform. Underside hindwing post discal row of black pupilled orange spots lack black arches. Most of Europe and northwest Africa. Absent from most of southern Spain, most of Scandinavia and the UK.

Knapweed fritillary M. phoebe: Upperside discal band usually a thick line of more or less joined up squarish spots. Hindwing postdiscal row of black spots only on upperside, and often absent. Upperside ground colour variegated with post discal area usually a deeper orange. Most of Europe and north Africa except the UK, Scandinavia.

Freyer's fritillary M. arduinna: Upperside discal band a row of mostly separated round spots. Very local in the Balkans, from northern Greece to eastern Serbia.

Aetherie's fritillary M. aetherie: Upperside discal band a row of well separated round spots and post discal band in the male very lightly marked. Hindwing post discal row lacking black spots. Uppserside ground colour uniform. Very local in north Africa, Sicily, south Spain and south Portugal.

Distribution & Flight: Only from the Balkans, from northern Greece to Serbia. Local. Single brooded in June and into July.

Habitat & Behaviour: Flowery meadows usually amongst light woodland and scrub.

Variation: A variable species particularly the variegated forms of the female.

Photo: arduinna10.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012


Photo: arduinna40.jpgPhoto: arduinna23.jpgPhoto: arduinna27.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012

Photo: arduinna2.jpgPhoto: arduinna4.jpgPhoto: arduinna1.jpgPhoto: arduinna3.jpg

NW Greece, July 2004

Photo: arduinna42.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012

Shared with alcon and large blues, Maculinea alcon, M. arion.

Photo: arduinna43.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012

A favoured drinking patch in very rich habitat.

Photo: arduinna37.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012

In flight.

Photo: arduinna6.jpg

SE Serbia, June 2012