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.

Size and Family

  • Family: Fritillaries
  • Size: Large
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 63-69mm

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.



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.