Fritillary Butterfly

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Fritillary Butterfly

This is a list of butterfly species in diverse genera with the common name fritillary. The term refers to the chequered markings on the wings, usually black on orange, and derives from the Latin fritillus. Most fritillaries belong to the family Nymphalidae.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Clade: Euarthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Suborder: Rhopalocera

The common name comes from a Latin word, fritillus, which means chessboard or dice box. Fritillary is also the name of a flower with an interesting checkered pattern; it is obvious that both the flower and the butterfly get their common name because of such pattern.

Another name for these handsome butterflies is silverspots because of the metallic markings on their wings undersides. It is possible that this pattern, similar to a leopard’s spots, serves as camouflage when they are resting in places of dappled sun and shade spots.

There are fourteen species of the so-called greater fritillaries (genus Speyeria) and sixteen lesser fritillaries. The greater fritillaries are larger than the lesser ones as their name indicates. Some of them are very hard to tell apart and when seen in flight it is easy to make mistakes.


Marsh fritillary habitat. Breeds in open grassy areas, such as damp tussocky grassland, calcareous grassland and heaths or mires. In all habitats an abundant supply of the main larval foodplant, devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis) is essential.

Life cycle

Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species. Many species have long larval life stages while others can remain dormant in their pupal or egg stages and thereby survive winters.

The Melissa Arctic (Oeneis melissa) overwinters twice as a caterpillar.[31] Butterflies may have one or more broods per year. The number of generations per year varies from temperate to tropical regions with tropical regions showing a trend towards multivoltinism.


Butterflies feed primarily on nectar from flowers. Some also derive nourishment from pollen,[51] tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, decaying flesh, and dissolved minerals in wet sand or dirt. Butterflies are important as pollinators for some species of plants. In general, they do not carry as much pollen load as bees, but they are capable of moving pollen over greater distances. Flower constancy has been observed for at least one species of butterfly.

Fritillary Butterfly images

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Also more: Common Blue butterflies

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