Dark Green Fritillary

Argynnis aglaja

About

The Dark Green Fritillary is a large, pale orange butterfly, with dark green undersides to the hindwings. Adults are on the wing throughout the summer from June to early September. They live on chalk and limestone grassland, sand dunes and moorland, and in woodland rides, where the caterpillars feed on violets.

How to identify

The Dark Green Fritillary is pale orange with an intricate pattern of black spots and lines on the upper wings. The underside of the hindwing is marked with white spots or 'pearls'. Fritillaries are one of the trickier groups of butterflies to identify. The rare High Brown Fritillary, found on a small number of sites around Morecambe Bay, on Dartmoor and around the Welsh borders, is very similar, but has an extra row of pearls on the underwing which are ringed with orange.

Where to find it

A scarce butterfly, widespread but localised, scattered across the country.

Habitats

When to find it

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

The Dark Green Fritillary is widespread but declining in central and eastern England. It relies on sensitive grassland, moor and dune habitats that are disappearing from our countryside. However, The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Dark Green Fritillary
Latin name
Argynnis aglaja
Category
Invertebrates
Butterflies and moths
Statistics
Wingspan: 5.8-6.8cm
Conservation status
Common but declining in some areas.