Mellicta asteria

Little Fritillary

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: asteria

Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

Photo: asteria

Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

Field notes and information

A very small and inconspicuous butterfly that lives in very small colonies. Only found in the eastern Alps at high alpine levels. They look rather more like flies buzzing across the alpine turf than butterflies.

Identification & Similar species: Can be readiy separated from similar species by its very small size, covering of grey scales on the upperside and has only a single, not a double, black marginal line on the underside hindwing.

Distribution & Flight: Very local in east Switzerland, west Austria and north Italy. Single brooded in July.

Habitat & Behaviour: Alpine meadows with short turf in open exposed valleys and slopes.

Photo: asteria

Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

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Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

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Hohe Tauern, Austria July 2014

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Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

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Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

Photo: asteriaPhoto: asteria

Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

Photo: asteriaPhoto: asteria

Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

Photo: asteria

Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

Photo: asteria

Albula Pass, Switzerland, July 2003

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Albula Pass, Switzerland, July 1997

(c) Peter Rowlings. The very windy location made photography nearly impossible.