Fritillaries in the Upper Plym

After a wet start to the month, the fine and sunny weather over the past few weeks has encouraged all the butterfly populations of the Plym Valley to take to the wing. Alongside regular sightings of Small Heath, Brimstone, Wall and Speckled Wood, the transects carried out last week, confirmed the presence of  Fritillaries in the Upper Plym.

Pictured above, is a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) which was photographed on the 23rd May. As with many of the native Fritillaries, the Small Pearl-bordered has suffered a significant decline over recent years.

With similar flight periods (May until July) and habitat requirements, the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary can often be confused with the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne).  Identification between these two butterflies is best achieved from the underside of the hindwing. On the Small Pearl-bordered, the white dots, or ‘pearls’, on the fringe of the wing are outlined in black, whereas on the Pearl-bordered they are outlined with orange.

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