Boloria napaea

Mountain Fritillary


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Berne, Switzerland, August 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

Field notes and information

A mountain species from a small part of the eastern Pyrenees, the Alps and Scandinavia.

Identification & Similar species: One of a group of 4 very similar species. Differences as follows:

Shepherd's fritillary, pales: northwest Spain, Pyrenees, Alps, east Europe, Balkans. Underside forewing lacking black spots. Broad upperside forewing lines. Relatively small.

Mountain fritillary, napaea: Pyrenees, Alps, Scandinavia. Underside forewing lacking black spots. Fine upperside forewing lines. Relatively large. Females often with dark dusky purple sheen.

Cranberry fritillary, aquilonaris: northern Alps to Scandinavia and eastwards. Underside forewing with black spots.

Balkan fritillary, graeca: southern Alps (France), Balkans. Underside forewing with black spots.

Flight: Single brooded in July and August.

Habitat & Behaviour: Open alpine meadows. Usually flowery, often associated with damp areas. Flies very low and fast.

Variation: Females often have a distinctive violet flush.

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Tessin, Switzerland, August 2013

Purple sheen on the female.

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N Sweden, July 2022

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N Norway, July 2022

The end of Europe, the orange butterfly at the bottom right of the photo is the furthest north possible on mainland Europe at Nordkapp.

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2020

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2019

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2021

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Tessin, Switzerland, August 2013

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Grisons, Switzerland, July 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

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Hautes-Pyrénées, France, July 2018

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2006