A large, strong-flying butterfly restricted to the Norfolk Broads, although migrants are occasionally seen elsewhere. Pale yellow wings with black veins and blue margins.

This is one of our rarest and most spectacular butterflies. The British race britannicus is a specialist of wet fenland and is currently restricted to the Norfolk Broads. Here the adults can be seen flying powerfully over open fen vegetation, stopping to feed on flowers such as thistles and Ragged-Robin.

The adults fly at night and are attracted to light, especially the males. They can sometimes be found resting on tree trunks or posts during the day. The caterpillars can be found from April to June after they have overwintered as eggs.

Light green in colour with black markings, some of which are edged in white.

The adults feed at ivy flowers and overripe berries. They overwinter as eggs on branches or in bark crevices of the foodplant. The young caterpillars will first feed inside an opening bud and then when they are larger they will feed only at night, spending the day hiding in a bark crevice on the tree trunk.

This Fritillary is similar in size and habitats to the Pearl-bordered Fritillary but is more widespread and occurs in damper, grassy habitats as well as woodland clearings and moorland.

The adults fly close to the ground, stopping frequently to take nectar from flowers such as Bramble and thistles. It can be idenfidied from the more numerous whitish pearls on the underside hind wings, the outer ones bordered by black chevrons and from the larger black central dot.

The wings usually have a netted, or ‘latticed’, appearance, created by dark cross lines and veins on the paler ground colour on the upper and underside of the wings. Rarely, a melanic form can occur.  Similar to the Common Heath and Netted Mountain Moth, but the resting posture of the former, with the wings held flat, should help to distinguish the Latticed Heath from that species. The markings of the Latticed Heath are also generally more defined than either of the other species.

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.

This is one of the earliest fritillaries to emerge and can be found as early as April in woodland clearings or rough hillsides with bracken.

It flies close to the ground, stopping regularly to feed on spring flowers such as Bugle. It can be distinguished from the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary by the two large silver 'pearls' and row of seven outer 'pearls' on the underside hind wing, and also the red (as opposed to black) chevrons around the outer pearls and the small central spot on the hind wing.

This small, fast-flying butterfly is now restricted to damp grassy habitats in western Scotland. Males are seen more frequently than females, perching in sheltered positions either next to wood edges or amongst light scrub or bracken. They dart out to investigate passing objects, defending their territory against other males and other butterfly species, or in the hope of locating a potential mate. Females are less conspicuous and fly low among grasses when egg-laying.

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.

The Dark Green Fritillary has declined in parts of central and eastern England but remains locally abundant in western England, around the coast of Wales and in Scotland.

Small and orange and brown, like a tiny fritillary. Undersides of hind wings have rows of white spots. Lives in small colonies on grassland or woodland clearings.

This small butterfly frequents scrubby grassland and sunny woodland clearings, typically in very low numbers. The adults rarely visit flowers and most sightings are of the territorial males as they perch on a prominent leaf at the edge of scrub. The females are elusive and spend much of their time resting or flying low to the ground looking for suitable egg-laying sites.

Subscribe to Chequered