Dark Green Fritillary Nymphalidae

Argynnis aglaja (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 69-80mm. Males are smaller than females. The male has bright orange uppersides marked with black along veins and with many round and triangular black spots. The female is similar but is less brightly coloured and with more extensive black markings. The underside of the hindwing in both sexes is mainly green with clear silver spots. The side margin of the forewings is straight or slightly convex

Similar Species: The Silver-washed Fritillary is larger and has silver patches rather than spots on underwing and has a slightly concave margin to forewing.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Univoltine and mainly mid-June to mid-August.

Status: Very locally distributed in N. Ireland. Colonies exist on the dune systems and other coastal sites in Down and on the north coast between Magilligan Point, Londonderry and White Park Bay in Antrim. Inland populations are found in the Mournes, on Slieve Gullion in Armagh and in west Fermanagh. The status of it in some areas is uncertain. Coastal populations seem stable but there may have been declines inland.

Ecology: A colonial species found in open habitats. In N. Ireland mainly a species of dunes and coastal grassland and less commonly on inland heath and grassland. Males fly strongly through colony searching for females. Mated females fly low over vegetation searching for clumps of foodplants, which are species of violet Viola. They select large-leaved plants growing in moist locations, typically within a dense sward. Overwinters as a first instar larva.

World Distribution: Whole of Europe apart from Mediterranean islands except Sicily, Atlas Mtns of Morocco; Asia to China and Japan .

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1607 Agassiz number: 59.019

Additional information:

UK Butterflies account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland