The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is a striking orange and black butterfly, often seen flying close to the ground along sunny woodland rides or feeding on spring flowers such as Common Dog-violet. Pearl-bordered Fritillaries lay their eggs singularly in bracken or leaf litter close to violets, the foodplant of the caterpillars which emerge in late June.
How to identify
The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is an orange butterfly with black marks on the upperside of the wings. The underside have black and silver markings along with a row of white "pearls" along the outer edge of the wing which give the species its name. Easily confused with the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which despite its name, is very similar in both size and appearance. They are most easily distinguished by their undersides - both species have the 7 white "pearls" running along the edge of the hindwing but the rest is quite different. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary exhibits 2 very distinct additional "pearls", whereas the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary has a mozaic of white, oranges and browns and, as such, has the more colourful underside.
Where to find it
Found in Southern England and Wales
When to find it
Adults are typically flying between mid April and early June
How can people help
The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Managing rides so they are open and sunny with coppice and flower rich grassy margins helps provide the ideal habitat for many invertebrates which, in turn, support larger animals. By volunteering for your local Trust, you can help too and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.