Euphydryas aurinia

Marsh Fritillary


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Jura, France, June 2018

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Var, France, April 2004

Field notes and information

A species in decline. My personal experience is that it is fairly easy to find across much of its range. But it is usually local.

From high levels the taxon debilis flies which may be the high altitude form of the current species or a full species.

Identification & Similar species: This species has a an orange submarginal band on the upperside hindwing with small black spots. This is similar only to the Spanish fritillary,E. desfontainii, which has strong black marks on the forewing. It also has distinct yellow submarginal lunules on the upperside forewing, which are orange in the current species. Note, in the field that species appears much brighter and move vivid than the current one.

Distribution & Flight: Most of Europe except the Mediterranean islands, east UK, much of Scandinavia, Italy (present in central Italy plus the Alps) and most of Greece.

April to July depending strongly on location, altitude and latitude. I've found it in late April in Var, France at around 800m altitude and in July at 2000m in Switzerland.

Habitat & Behaviour: Often damp places, but also dry hillsides. Flies gently above grassy habitats. Both sexes often rest on grasses for quite long periods.

Variation: Extremely variable in all markings and colouration. The subspecies beckeri from Spain and north Africa is larger with stronger markings.

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Jura, France, June 2014

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Jura, France, June 2018

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SW Serbia, June 2012

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Jura, France, June 2018

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Jura, France, June 2018

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Jura, France, June 2018

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Cluj, Romania, May 2009

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Rila Mts, Bulgaria, July 2004

Ssp. bulgarica .

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Vaud, Switzerland, June 2020

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Pyrénées Orientales, France, May 2006

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Jura, France, June 2018

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Jura, France, June 2018