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Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne)

Surveys 2023

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is one of Scotland’s more elusive butterflies and has long been a priority for conservation. Flying earlier in the season than its close relative (and look-a-like) the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, it inhabits woodland edges, clearings, glades and track-sides.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary (underwing) - Iain Leach
Pearl-bordered Fritillary by Andrew Cooper

Scotland is a stronghold for the butterfly, which has undergone significant UK-wide declines, particularly as woodland management has moved away from the traditional coppicing and small-scale felling practices that helped the species thrive.

Most people only see the Pearl-bordered Fritillary when they make a special effort to seek it out, no doubt in part due to its early season emergence in mid-May. We know the butterfly has been thriving in recent years at Mabie Forest and monitoring on some Forestry and Land Scotland sites has been established at a number of woodlands in Perthshire, Strathspey and Lochaber. The butterfly has also been rediscovered at Loch Katrine in the Trossachs, where it was once feared lost, and now appears to be doing well. 

However, for most Pearl-bordered Fritillary colonies in Scotland, we receive very few records. The last major coordinated survey was back in the late 1990’s and many sites have not been visited since. This is an issue as the butterfly could be declining at certain sites, or even across landscapes, and without knowledge of records and habitat condition, we can’t target our conservation action to help. This year we would like to start changing that!

Training workshops

We are looking for willing volunteers to take on a local site to survey for Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Surveys will need to take place on a sunny day during the butterfly’s flight period of mid-May to mid-June.

To help with this we will be offering a free zoom training workshop and a field workshop in Glen Lyon. 

The zoom training workshop will be held on Thursday 11th May at 7pm. If you would like to attend please let us know via this short form

There will also be a field workshop as follows:

  • Glen Lyon, near Aberfeldy - Saturday 20th May 10am-noon (leader Anthony McCluskey)

To book on please let Anthony know via [email protected] 

Survey locations map

The Google map below shows the Pearl-bordered Fritillary sites that we have identified as survey priorities for 2023.

If you zoom in and then click on a marker, information on that site will appear in a box. It is also possible to navigate to different parts of the country and change the background map from aerial to terrain.

The map shows sites where there have been more than one previous Pearl-bordered Fritillary record, but no records since 2015. 

If you would be willing to survey any of these sites please contact David Hill @email and we will provide further information on the site, previous records plus survey forms and guidance.

There are many other Pearl-bordered Fritillary sites in Scotland and information from surveys of these would also be gratefully received.

Links for more information

Butterfly Conservation Scotland’s Learn About the Pearl-bordered Fritillary leaflet