Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Day 293 - Pretty, Beautiful and Fantastic Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries

Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) - feeding but not on Bugle
Hey everyone today's Day 293 and, as you know, I have recently been to the Lake District (saw Bee-Eaters - yes!). I went to a place called RSPB Geltsdale which is an incredible reserve. I read that it's one of the darkest places at night in England, so it's great for seeing stars so I'll have to get back for a night time visit. It has some incredible habitats and most importantly, it has some amazing wildlife. Yesterday I covered the first of 2-3 'lifers' that I saw there. So here is the second. The lovely Pearl-Bordered Fritillary.

Note: I will be covering both the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary and the Pearl-Bordered Fritillary in this post.

So, here are the facts:
  • The Pearl-Bordered Fritillary is seen most commonly between April and June but they have been seen from March all the way through August.
  • The Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary is most commonly found between June and August but they can also be found about a month either side, less commonly.
It was hard to get close to and I had to follow it about
  • These butterflies get their name from the 'pearls' that run along the edge of the wings, although other Fritillaries do have these too such as the Marsh Fritillary.
  • The reason the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary is called this is, is because its maximum wingspan is a bit smaller than the normal Pearl-Bordered Fritillary...
  • ...More precisely the Large is between 44mm and 47mm while the Small is 41mm to 44mm. They can stretch either way in genders though.
  • They are mostly found in the South of England, the North of Scotland and Wales. They don't seem to be found in Ireland at all though or there are no records on the sites I saw.
  • One of the best ways to tell between all of the Fritillaries is that the Pearl-Bordered and the Small Pearl-Bordered always have 12 veins on their forewings. You can also tell from when and where they are found.
It settled down again for a moment.
  • Even though we found this one in a marshy bit of a moorland up a hill, they are most commonly found in woodlands.
  • Their caterpillars are quite fussy and are only found on Dog Violet or Marsh Violets.
  • As adults their main source of food is nectar from Bugle but they also take nectar from a range of other plants too.
  • This species is a conservation priority as it has been in decline. The main reason is probably as we don't do much coppicing of woodland anymore which is what creates the best habitat for them.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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