Melitaea diamina

False Heath Fritillary


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Valais, Switzerland, August 2019

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2017

Field notes and information

Very heavy dark markings characterise this species.

Identification & Similar species: The very heavy black markings, particularly on the upperside hindwing, separate this species from similar ones such as the heath, Grison's, meadow, Nickerl's, Assman's and Provencal fritillaries, M. athalia, M. varia, M. parthenoides, M. aurelia, M. britomartis & M. deione.

Widespread from north Spain, south & east France and eastwards into south Scandinavia and Bulgaria. I've found it in central Italy where it appears to be rare and underrecorded. Usually a single brood in May/ July depending on altitude, and may have a second brood in some warmer regions.

Habitat & Behaviour: Damp flowery meadows from low to alpine levels.

Variation: Highly variable in extent of black markings and level of variegation of upperside ground colour.

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SE Serbia, June 2012

Roosting in late evening.

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2022

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Jura, France, June 2022

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Fribourg, Switzerland, May 2020

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2020

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2019

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2018

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SW Serbia, June 2012

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2019

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2017

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2019

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Vaud, Switzerland, June 2011

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Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2015

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2018