Scientific name: Melitaea cinxia
Named after Lady Eleanor Glanville who first found the butterfly in England in the 1690s.
Orange and brown chequered butterfly with pattern of cream and orange bands and black marks on the underside of wings. The Glanville Fritillary is virtually restricted to coastal landslips on the southern half of the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands along with a few coastal locations on the mainland.
The status of the butterfly appears to have changed little in recent decades, though there has been some loss of habitat due to coastal protection measures. However, there are only a handful of core breeding areas and it remains a vulnerable species.
Size and Family
- Family: Fritllaries
- Size: Small/Medium
- Wing Span Range (male to female): 41-47mm
- Section 41 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in England
- UK BAP status: Priority Species
- Butterfly Conservation priority: High
- European Status: Not threatened
- Protected under Schedule 5 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act (for sale only)
The main foodplant is Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata). Buck's-horn Plantain (P. coronopus) is used occasionally as a secondart foodplant by final instar larvae.
- Countries: England
- Restricted to the Isle of Wight
- Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = -71%
There are two habitat types: Coastal grasslands either on undercliffs, deeply incised coastal river valleys with eroding sides, or cliff tops; and south-facing chalk downland. There are eighteenth century records from woodland clearings in eastern England.