Belongs to: fritillaries

Pearl-bordered fritillary Boloria euphrosyne

extinct in Essex


Best time to see: mid May to mid Jun

Key facts

A butterfly of open woodlands that went extinct in Essex in 1968

Habitat: well-drained open woodlands with plenty of the main foodplant, dog violet

Still locally common in south-west England and Wales but declining everywhere

Recognition

Upperside is bright orange with black veins and spots; underside is a striking mosaic of orange and yellow

Males flit and glide around woodland rides and clearings; females are less active, fluttering round violets or feeding on nectar

Colonies move from one clearing to another as trees shade them out; wingspan around 4.5 cm

Lifecycle

Eggs laid singly on or near violets in early summer

Caterpillars, black with yellow bristles, hibernate among dead vegetation, basking openly the following spring

Caterpillars pupate in late spring, adults emerging from the chrysalis in May and June

  • Main photo
  • underside

Photo © David Corke

Photo © David Corke