Dark Green Fritillary

  • Dark Green Fritillary (upperwing)
    Dark Green Fritillary (upperwing)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (underwing)
    Dark Green Fritillary (underwing)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (caterpillar)
    Dark Green Fritillary (caterpillar)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (pupa) by Peter Eeles
    Dark Green Fritillary (pupa) by Peter Eeles
  • Video play iconDark Green Fritillary (upperwing)
    Dark Green Fritillary (video)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (upperwing)
    Dark Green Fritillary (upperwing)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (underwing)
    Dark Green Fritillary (underwing)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (caterpillar)
    Dark Green Fritillary (caterpillar)
  • Dark Green Fritillary (pupa) by Peter Eeles
    Dark Green Fritillary (pupa) by Peter Eeles
  • Dark Green Fritillary (upperwing)
    Dark Green Fritillary (video)

Scientific name: Argynnis aglaja

A large, powerful, orange and black butterfly. Very similar to the rare High Brown Fritillary, which has an extra row of orange-ringed ‘pearls’ on the underside of the hindwing.

This large and powerful butterfly is one of our most widespread fritillaries and can be seen flying rapidly in a range of open sunny habitats. The males look similar to the High Brown Fritillary, which is far rarer but sometimes flies with them on bracken-covered hillsides. The two can be distinguished from the underwing markings, visible when they are feeding on flowers such as thistles.

Although the Dark Green Fritillary is still locally abundant in some regions, it has declined in many others, notably central and eastern England.

Size and Family

  • Family – Fritillaries, Duke of Burgundy
  • Large Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 63-69mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP status: Not listed     
  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Mediun                          
  • European status: Not threatened 

Caterpillar Foodplants

Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) is used in many habitats, but Hairy Violet (V. hirta) is also used on calcareous grasslands, and Marsh Violet (V. palustris) on moorland and wetter habitats in the north and west. Other violets may be used occasionally.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland
  • Throughout Britain, but in discrete areas. Rarer in the east and in Ireland
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: -30%

Habitat

Occurs in a range of flower-rich grasslands often with patches of scrub.  Including; coastal grassland, dunes and scrub; chalk and limestone grassland; moorland and wet flushes; acid grassland with bracken; and occasionally woodland rides and clearings.

Factsheets

Similar species