Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: Species: Species Account - The Glanville Fritillary:
Glanville Fritillary
Melitaea cinxia (Linnaeus, 1758)

Glanville Fritillary egg.
ova
  Glanville Fritillary caterpillar.
larva
  Glanville Fritillary chrysalis
pupa
Glanville Fritillary
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Nomenclature
Insecta: Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae: Subfamily Melitaeinae : Genus Melitaea: Species cinxia:
Description
The Glanville Fritillary is named after Lady Eleanor Glanville who in the 1690's was the first person to capture British specimens in Lincolnshire. Today the species has a much more restricted range being found on the Isle of Wight and Hordle Cliff near Christchurch.

It is unlikely for anyone to confuse the Glanville Fritillary for any other species as no other butterfly of similar appearance is likely to be encountered in the same location or at the same time of year. The distinctive rich orange/brown and lattice pattern is distinctive. It is often encountered feeding on the pink flowers of Thrift or on Birds-foot Trefoil. Its flight is distinctive and fast consisting of rapid wing beats followed by a glide.

The Glanville Fritillary is a Priority Species for conservation due to the continued loss of habitat and resulting drop in population.
Habitat
Although there are records of the Glanville Fritillary being found in woodland clearings in eastern England during the 18th century this species is now confined to coastal grasslands undercliffs and deeply incised coastal river valleys (chines) where soil erosion promotes the growth of the larval food plant.

It also occurs on south facing chalk downland although colonies tend to be smaller.
Distribution
The Glanville Fritillary is present in a small part of southern England restricted to coastal landslips on the south-east of the Isle of Wight. It also occurs on the Channel Islands and small coastal sites in Hampshire (Hordle Cliff and Hurst Castle).

A very small site at Sand Point in Somerset is the result of unlicenced introductions and probably died out in 2000 but appears to have been re-stocked again since. Certainly in 2008 several Glanville Fritillary have been reported. Another site at Berry Head, nr. Brixham, South Devon is almost certainly the result of unlicenced introductions.

The populations and distribution of the Glanville Fritillary has changed little in recent decades although there has been some losses because of habitat change due to coastal protection measures. There are only a few core breeding areas so the Glanville Fritillary remains a vulnerable species.

A visit the Isle of Wight during the flight season provides the best chance of seeing this species. Visit Bonchurch Down, Horseshoe Bay, Wheelers Bay, Compton Bay and Cliffs where it can be found with relative ease.
Where to see the Glanville Fritillary in the British Isles
The Glanville Fritillary is present in a small part of southern England restricted to coastal landslips on the south-east of the Isle of Wight. It also occurs on the Channel Islands and small coastal sites in Hampshire (Hordle Cliff and Hurst Castle).

A very small site at Sand Point in Somerset is the result of unlicenced introductions and probably died out in 2000 but appears to have been re-stocked again since. Certainly in 2008 several Glanville Fritillary have been reported. Another site at Berry Head, nr. Brixham, South Devon is almost certainly the result of unlicenced introductions.

The populations and distribution of the Glanville Fritillary has changed little in recent decades although there has been some losses because of habitat change due to coastal protection measures. There are only a few core breeding areas so the Glanville Fritillary remains a vulnerable species.

A visit the Isle of Wight during the flight season provides the best chance of seeing this species. Visit Bonchurch Down, Horseshoe Bay, Wheelers Bay, Compton Bay and Cliffs where it can be found with relative ease.
Other notes
Lifecycle chart
larvaelarvaelarvaelarvaepupapupaadultadultovalarvaelarvaelarvaelarvaelarvaelarvae
 
Flight chart
JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
The lifecycle and flight charts should be regarded as approximate guides to the Glanville 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
Endangered Endangered

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

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

4More information about IUCN categories.
Wingspan
38-52mm
UK status
Resident
Larval foodplants
Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) is the primary larval food plant although mature larvae may also use Buck's-horn Plantain (Plantago coronopus).
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).
Online store
Visit our online store for many more butterfly related books and gifts.
Population trends 1
UK Population trend 1995-2004 insuficient data
UK Population trend 1976-2004 insuficient data

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 candidate priority species (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 Glanville 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 Glanville 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*
Glanville Fritillary can be found on Peter Eeles excellent UK Butterflies web site.
Glanville Fritillary can be found on Matt Rowlings excellent European Butterflies web site.

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Photographs of the Glanville Fritillary
Image ID BB978 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary unknown (imago)
BB978 ©
Image ID BB975 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary unknown (imago)
BB975 ©
Image ID BB974 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary unknown (imago)
BB974 ©
Image ID BB973 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary unknown (imago)
BB973 ©
Image ID BB972 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary male (imago)
BB972 ©
Image ID BB970 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary male (imago)
BB970 ©
Image ID BB340 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary unknown (imago)
BB340 ©
Image ID BB339 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary unknown (imago)
BB339 ©
Image ID BB338 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary female (imago)
BB338 ©
Image ID BB83 - Glanville Fritillary - © Steven Cheshire
Glanville Fritillary male (imago)
BB83 ©
There are 19 photographs of the Glanville Fritillary in our stock photo library.
View more photographs of the Glanville Fritillary as a thumbnail gallery or as a slideshow.
Aberrations and forms
There are 6 named aberrant forms of the Glanville Fritillary currently listed. Find out more about aberrants here.

ab. brenthis - Reuss 1921
ab. fulla - Quensel 1791
ab. mocsaryi - Aigner 1905
ab. obscurior - Seitz 1909
ab. pauper - Caruel 1944
ab. wittei - Geest 1903
Glanville Fritillary ab.fulla