Melitaea didyma

Spotted Fritillary

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

Show butterflies of: EU US
io-header
Photo: didyma

Valais, Switzerland, June 2013

Photo: didyma

Hautes Alpes, France, August 2012

The dark female form meridionalis.

Field notes and information

A very bright red-orange species that is widespread and common over much of Europe.

Identification & Similar species: Upperside black markings are less dense than the similar species the lesser spotted fritillary M. trivia which flies in north Spain, sporadically in north and central Italy and southeast Europe. The upperside black border is solid and uniform usually touching the post discal arches. The underside hindwing marginal spots are approximately triangular rather than rounded. The current species is often a very bright orange red.

In north Africa, the desert fritillary deserticola is found in the hottest driest places, and it can overlap with the current species. It is more orange and with reduced upperside black markings. The antennae are orange beneath, compared to black with just an orange tip. The underside of the abdomen is orange, compared to white in the current species.

Distribution & Flight: N Africa and Europe north to northern France, central Germany and Poland. Multiple brooded from March in north Africa, April/ May in Europe until autumn.

Habitat & Behaviour: Hot dry flowery places in grassland, woodland, villages, roadsides etc.

Photo: didyma

Var, France, July 2010

Photo: didymaPhoto: didyma

Valais, Switzerland, June 2015

Photo: didyma

Valais, Switzerland, June 2013

Photo: didyma

Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

Photo: didymaPhoto: didymaPhoto: didyma

Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

Photo: didyma

Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

Photo: didyma

Valais, Switzerland, May 2011

Photo: didyma

Var, France, May 2012

Photo: didyma

Asturias Mts, Spain, July 2011

Photo: didyma

NW Greece, August 2008

Aberrant amount of black.

Photo: didymaPhoto: didyma

Hautes Alpes, France, August 2012

The dark female form meridionalis.

Photo: didyma

SE Serbia, June 2012

Photo: didyma

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007