Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Dark Green Fritillary:
Dark Green Fritillary
Argynnis aglaja (Linnaeus, 1758)

Dark Green Fritillary egg.
ova
  Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar.
larva
  Dark Green Fritillary chrysalis
pupa
Dark Green Fritillary
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Nomenclature
Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae: Subfamily Heliconiinae : Genus Argynnis: Species aglaja:
Description
Although this large powerful butterfly is one of our most widespread Fritillaries its is rarely encountered except in suitable areas. It is very similar in appearance and size to the rarer High Brown Fritillary. The uppersides are a golden orange-brown colour with a pattern of black spots and crescents. The females tend to be paler in colour. Its name is derived from the colouration of the underside of its wings which a green leading to pale yellow-brown with pure white spots.

Butterflies from northern England and Scotland tend to be darker and more heavily patterned.

During hot sunny days the males fly constantly in search of females displaying a distinctive flight pattern of rapid wing beats followed by a fast smooth glide before yet more rapid wing beats. In order to get close to a Dark Green Fritillary, you should search for them basking in weak sunshine during the morning or evening.
Habitat
The Dark Green Fritillary can be found in a range of flower-rich grasslands with patches of scrub. They are present on coastal grassland and dunes chalk and limestone grassland and sometimes woodland rides and clearings.
Distribution
The Dark Green Fritillary is sometimes abundant in some regions but in general it has declined dramatically, most notably in central and eastern England.
Where to see the Dark Green Fritillary in the British Isles
The Dark Green Fritillary is sometimes abundant in some regions but in general it has declined dramatically, most notably in central and eastern England.

Key sites include:
Northumberland (Holy Island), Pembrokeshire (St David's Head / Whitesands), Gloucestershire (Prestbury Hill ), Dorset (Melbury Down NT) and Yorkshire (Scar Close NNR).
Other notes
Lifecycle chart
larvaelarvaelarvaelarvaelarvaepupapupaadultadultovaovalarvaelarvaelarvaelarvae
 
Flight chart
JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Dark Green Fritillary in Britain. Specific lifecycle states, adult emergence and peak flight times vary from year to year due to variations in weather conditions.
IUCN category status 2010 5   IUCN category status 2007 34
--awaiting data-- --awaiting data--

5Fox, R., Warren, M., Brereton, T. M., Roy, D. B. & Robinson, A.
(2010) A new Red List of British Butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity.
Least Concern Least Concern

3Fox, R., Warren, M & Brereton, T.
(2007) New Red List of British Butterflies. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.

4More information about IUCN categories.
Wingspan
58-68mm
UK status
Resident
Larval foodplants
The larvae feed on Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) Hairy Violet (Viola hirta) and Marsh Violet (Viola palustris).
British subspecies
Argynnis aglaja ssp. aglaja (Linnaeus, 1758)
Occurs in England, Wales and southern Scotland.
Argynnis aglaja ssp. scotia (Watkins, 1923)
Occurs in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.The female tends to be darker than ssp. aglaja.
Butterflies of Britain ID Chart
Your personal guide to British Butterflies. This 8-panel laminated chart is designed for speedy butterfly identification in the field. Ideal for anyone interested in identifying butterflies, perfect for children and adults and ideal for outdoor use, laminated, shower-proof and robust. Get your copy today.
Butterflies of Britain (Laminated ID Chart).
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Visit our online store for many more butterfly related books and gifts.
Population trends 1
UK Population trend 1995-2004 down by -10%
UK Population trend 1976-2004 up by 63%

1Fox, R., Asher. J., Brereton. T., Roy, D & Warren, M. (2006) The State of Butterflies in Britain & Ireland, Pices, Oxford.
UK BAP status 2
UK BAP status not listed (link)

2For information about the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, visit the JNCC web site jncc.defra.gov.uk.

National Biodiversity Network Gateway
National Biodiversity Network Gateway Distribution Map



Areas in and indicate a contraction in distribution of the Dark Green Fritillary except in Ireland where data is only available up until 1999.

* Records shown in outside the natural distribution may be the result of illegal or accidental releases by breeders or, depending upon the species, migrant individuals from mainland Europe.

Key to map*
= 2000 to 2010 inclusive (current distribution)
= records from 1950 to 1999 inclusive
= records from 1900 to 1949 inclusive
Records prior to 1st January 1900 are not shown.

The NBN Gateway records are shown on the map right. (See terms and conditions).

More data is available on the Dark Green Fritillary on the NBN Gateway web site.
Powered by NBN Gateway.
References
For full details of books and reports mentioned on this web site, view the references page.

Find out more online*
Dark Green Fritillary can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Dark Green Fritillary can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

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Photographs of the Dark Green Fritillary
Image ID BB2224 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary male (imago)
BB2224 ©
Image ID BB2223 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary female (imago)
BB2223 ©
Image ID BB2222 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary female (imago)
BB2222 ©
Image ID BB1772 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary (imago)
BB1772 ©
Image ID BB1771 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary (imago)
BB1771 ©
Image ID BB1770 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary (imago)
BB1770 ©
Image ID BB1744 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary male and female (imago)
BB1744 ©
Image ID BB1743 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary female (imago)
BB1743 ©
Image ID BB1742 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary male (imago)
BB1742 ©
Image ID BB1741 - Dark Green Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Dark Green Fritillary male and female (imago)
BB1741 ©
There are 36 photographs of the Dark Green Fritillary in our stock photo library.
View more photographs of the Dark Green Fritillary as a thumbnail gallery or as a slideshow.
Aberrations and forms
There are 21 named aberrant forms of the Dark Green Fritillary currently listed. Find out more about aberrants here.

ab. aberrans - Lampa 1885
ab. albescens - Verity 1904
ab. albicans - Dietrich 1867
ab. albomaculata - Rebel 1910
ab. aurantiaca - Reuss 1916
ab. aurea - Tutt 1896
ab. cadmeis - Lempke 1956
ab. clorinda - Sag 1932
ab. fasciata - Blachier 1910
ab. flavescen - Tutt 1896
ab. fusca - Tutt 1896
ab. hindenburgi - Schuster von Forstner 1928
ab. jurasinna - Rougemont 1871
ab. nana - Wheeler 1903
ab. nigrans - Newnham 1900
ab. pallida - Tutt 1896
ab. pluriradiata - Verity 1950
ab. robnora - Kershaw 1952
ab. suffusa - Tutt 1896
ab. viridiatra - Strand 1912
ab. wimani - Holmgren 1888