Marsh Fritillary Aberrations

Due to the sheer number of named aberrations for some species, not all are shown on the species pages - only those for which corresponding images are available. This page, however, provides access to all of the named aberrations for a given species, where known and Goodson & Read (1969) is a key resource in this regard.



Description to be completed.

Unclassified Aberrations

Marsh Fritillary (ab. virgata) - Hod Hill, Dorset 9-May-2009

Photo © dorsetguy

Marsh Fritillary ab artemis?  20 June 2010, Murlough Dunes, Co. Down J404342 [Samuel Millar]

Photo © Millar153

Marsh Fritillary ab. (melanic) (underside) Hod Hill Dorset 30th April 2011

Photo © millerd

Marsh Fritillary ab. (melanic) Hod Hill Dorset 30th April 2011

Photo © millerd

Marsh Fritillary (pale ab.) at Balindore near Taynuilt 17-June-2013

Photo © scottshanks01

Marsh Fritillary (pale ab.) at Balindore near Taynuilt 17-June-2013

Photo © scottshanks01

Marsh Fritillary aberration Hod Hill 17/5/14

Photo © False Apollo

Marsh Fritillary aberration Hod Hill 17/5/14

Photo © False Apollo

Marsh Fritillary Aberration - Cerne Abbas - 19th - May - 2014

Photo © Maximus

Marsh Fritillary Aberration - Cerne Abbas - 19th - May - 2014

Photo © Maximus

Marsh Fritillary Aberration - Cerne Abbas - 19th - May - 2014

Photo © Maximus

Marsh Fritillary Aberration - Cerne Abbas - 19th - May - 2014

Photo © Maximus

Marsh Fritillary - ab - Wiltshire - 15-05-2014

Photo © Wurzel

Marsh Fritillary - ab - Wiltshire - 25-05-2014

Photo © Wurzel

Marsh Fritillary (ab) - Strawberry Banks 23-May-2015

Photo © MikeOxon

Marsh Fritillary ab. - Wiltshire site 23-May-2016

Photo © trevor

Marsh Frit - Fontmell Down, Dorset 2.6.16

Photo © kevling

Photo Album (17 photos) ...

ab. arcuata (Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.9.)

On the underside of the hindwings the inner marginal light-coloured streak is changed into a series of pointed lobes, their points directed towards the base.

ab. artemis (Schiffermüller.Wien.Syst.Verz.1775.p.322.)

= artemis Fabricius.Mantissa.Ins.1787.2.p.61.

The description given by Schiffermüller is of little use but Fabricius, citing Schiffermüller’s description and presumably describing the same form, gives a better one. Schiffermüller merely says, “chequered butterfly, orange-yellow, simple spotted”. Fabricius gives, “fulvous varied with black, hindwings on both upper and underside with a row of black points”. The form is therefore fulvous without the yellow spots of the typical form. Several aberrations have been described which are actually the same as this form but they are given as having more complete descriptions.

ab. atricolor (Schultz.Ent.Z.1906.19.p.205.)

All wings on the upperside covered with a dusting of black scales. On the forewings there are a few rufous spots showing near the costa and on the hindwings a red submarginal band with its row of little black points, otherwise the wings are black.

ab. basiconfluens (Lempke.Tijdschr.Ent.1956.98.p.337.)

On the underside of the hindwings all basal spots coalesce into one large spot, which is separated by a narrow brown band from the yellow central band, except at the inner margin where the yellow areas are connected.

ab. brunnea (Tutt.Brit.Butts.1896.p.316.)

Probably the same as ab. artemis Schiffermüller. The ground colour tawny, no red or straw coloured markings, the colour resembling M. cinxia [Melitaea cinxia, Glanville Fritillary].

ab. catherinei (Le

An extreme aberration of the markings difficult to describe; see figure in colour. On the upperside of the forewings the inner half of the wings black, with two red stripes or spots on the costa. The outer half shows a wide fascia of reddish-brown in the centre of which is a suffused transverse row of yellow spots, and external to this a wide black border on the margin, with a row of lighter spots on its extreme edge, these light spots are normally inside it. Hindwings with the basal half more or less normal but the rest of the wings black with a lighter, greyish, submarginal band in which are some whitish spots in place of the normal little black points. The underside shows the inner half of fore and hindwings reddish-brown, the outer half white or cream with a submarginal line.

ab. commacula (Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.)

On the underside of the hindwings one of the light coloured basal spots is united with the central light band by a black-edged yellow stripe.

ab. deficiens (Cabeau.Lamb.1928.28.p.11.,

On the upperside of the hindwings the median black distal line, which borders externally the median fascia of yellow spots, is obliterated. The basal region and narrow marginal border leave a large fulvous area only marked by five submarginal spots. On the forewings the markings are thin and indistinct.

ab. demaculata (Bubacek.Verh.zool.-bot.Ges.Wien.1923.73.p.24.)

On the hindwings upperside the median band is reduced to spots. On the underside the basal spots are absent. For the latter character only, see the underside form ab. sesostris Schultz.

ab. demarginata (Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.)

On the underside of the hindwings the light-coloured streak along the inner margin is absent.

ab. denigrata (

= gracilens Derenne.Lamb.1927.27.p.10.

Upperside of all wings fulvous, the pattern scarcely visible, the normal black bands represented only by an intensification of the scaling. Derenne’s ab. gracilens would appear to be the same form, the forewings uniformly fulvous, the lines very thin or obliterated.

ab. diluta (Heinrich.Dtsch.Ent.Z.1923.Beitr.p.48.)

The black transverse lines of the forewings very narrow, partly effaced, and the shading on the inner margin also effaced.

ab. dubia (

The hindwings on the upperside show a series of fulvous ocelli with black pupils, in place of the normal fulvous band. The figure shows these ocelli to be the remains of the normal fulvous marginal band with its small black points, which is reduced to a series of round fulvous spots through the veins being heavily dusted with black and cutting the band into sections, the little black points being in their normal place. There seems to be some confusion among authors regarding this form, some referring it to examples which show black points in the yellow spots of the median row as figured in This is not correct as Krulikowsky’s figure shows it is the reddish-yellow marginal band which is affected.

ab. epimolpadia (

Fore and hindwings on the upperside strongly dusted with black except for a narrow transverse band of orange in the submarginal area. The margins have a broad black border. In the darkened parts of the wings the normal pattern is only just discernible but on the forewings there are two orange-brown spots near the costa and on the hindwings traces of orange-brown showing through the black.

ab. fulvacea (Cabeau.Rev.Mens.Soc.Ent.Nam.1911.11.p.78.)

The ground colour paler fawn than ab. namurcensis Lambillion and the black marginal border narrower. The transverse band of yellow spots in the disc and at the margins completely absent. Probably synonymous with ab. artemis Schiffermüller but may be paler ground. It is included because it is doubtful what Fabricius meant exactly by fulvous.

ab. geminifasciata (Derenne.Lamb.1927.27.p.11.)

On the upperside of the hindwings the normal yellow fascia is bordered with black and an extra band of less clear yellow external to this, which reaches the submarginal row of black points, so that there remains only half the width of the normal fulvous band.

ab. impunctata (Schultz.Ent.Z.1906.19.p.205.)

= impunctata Vorbrodt.Iris.1928.42.p.20.

The little black points in the fulvous submarginal band of the hindwings are absent. These are also absent on the underside. Vorbrodt gave the same description but does not mention the underside.

ab. infrafasciata (Horhammer.Int.Ent.Z.1935.29.p.398.fig.p.397.f.2.)

Underside of the hindwings with a rather sharply bordered black central band running from the costa down to the inner margin. Horhammer’s figures show three species with this character M. phoebe [Melitaea phoebe, Knapweed Fritillary], parthenie [Melitaea parthenoides, Meadow Fritillary] and aurinia [Euphydryas aurinia, Marsh Fritillary]. The aurinia does not show the black band so clean cut as the other two, but Horhammer says the photograph was bad. The normal band of yellowish spots is replaced by black, thus forming a continuous median black fascia.

ab. infraflava (Verity.Farf.Diurn.It.1950.4.p.71.)

Underside of hindwings dusted uniformly with yellow, nearly always associated with a light upperside.

ab. inframaculata (Lempke.Tijdschr.Ent.1956.98.p.337.)

On the underside of the hindwings there are large black spots in the yellow central band.

ab. infraochrea (Verity.Farf.Diurn.It.1950.4.p.71.)

Underside of hindwings dusted uniformly with ochreous, nearly always associated with a light upperside.

ab. infrarectiangula (

On the upperside of the hindwings there is a rectangular yellow spot situated near the anal angle on the inner margin, formed by the union of a yellow basal spot with the opposite spot of the median row.

ab. insterburgia (Braun.Ent.Rundsch.1937.54.p.556.fig.)

Upperside of the hindwings, instead of the usual fulvous submarginal band, shows a dark blackish-brown band in which the little black spots are ringed with fulvous. The figure shows a very dark band in place of the usual yellowish-brown one.

ab. leucophana (Cabeau.Lamb.1928.28.p.78.)

The ground colour of the forewings is white, slightly yellow, the pattern normal. The hindwings are of normal colour.

ab. ligata (Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.)

On the underside of the hindwings the central basal spot, the second from the bottom, is united with the light spot inside, and at the end of, the discoidal cell.

ab. melanoleuca (

The disc of the forewings upperside invaded by black, leaving only two reddish spots in the cell. The black diminishes towards the margin where the terminal band is yellowish-fulvous, not reddish, forming a contrast. The hindwings black from the base, this gradually diminishes towards the margin, only a slight elongated reddish spot showing in this black area. The terminal band even less marked than on the forewings, clear pale yellow divided by the black veins, the normal black spots showing up on the pale yellow. The underside of forewings light fawn, the terminal band yellowish. The hindwings basal part light fawn, the outer parts greyish. The markings on all four wings reduced to mere traces.

ab. minima (Gianelli.Ann.Acc.Agric.Torino.1890.33.p.19.)

= nana Rehfous.Cat.Rhop.Gen.1910.p.12.
= minor Vorbrodt.Mitt.Schweiz.Ent.Ges.9.7.12.p.435.

Very small examples.

ab. morena (Ribbe.Iris.1910.23.p.132.)

The yellowish bands of the upperside of the forewings are replaced by black, totally or almost so.

ab. namurcensis (Lambillion.Rev.Mens.Soc.Ent.Nam.1909.p.21.)

The ground colour reddish-fulvous with a complete absence of the yellowish spots of the typical form on all wings. The black border is double the width of the fringe, the hindwings even more broadly bordered, this border forming undulations marking the position of the normal white marginal spots which are obliterated, the lines deep black as in M. [Melitaea] maturna [syn. Euphydryas maturna, Scarce Fritillary].

ab. nigrolimbata (Schultz.Ent.Z.1906.19.p.205.fig.)

A wider marginal border to all wings, therefore the small light spots, normally seen between the fulvous band and the narrow dark border, are indistinct. The figure shows a black marginal border to all wings with only a trace of the white spots, which normally lie internal to a narrow black border.

ab. nigromaculata (Lempke.Tijdschr.Ent.1956.98.p.337.)

On the upperside of the hindwings the yellowish central band is spotted with black. This form is figured in as ab. dubia Krulikowsky. This is quite wrong.

ab. obscurata (

The latin description merely says melanic form with wings reticulated with fulvous. The figure however shows the forewings black from base to the central band of yellow spots, with obscured traces of red spots on the costa, the yellow band being suffused with blackish. The hindwings are similar, the basal half black as far as the yellow median spots which, like the forewings, are suffused, three small red spots show in the black area, the outer half more or less normal. The chief character would appear to be the black basal half of the wings contrasting with the more or less normal outer half.

ab. ocellata (

On the underside of the hindwings, one, two, three, or all the light coloured basal spots are ocellated i.e. with a black point in the centre.

ab. ochrea (Tutt.Brit.Butts.1896.p.318.)

All the pale markings of the forewings uniformly ochreous without a trace of red. Tutt presumably means the yellow spots by “pale markings”.

ab. perianthes (Cabeau.Lamb.1926.26.p.74.)

Upperside of hindwings with a border of deep black with large white points.

ab. praeclara (Kane.Entom.1893.26.p.158.)

The upperside showing the red bands and central straw-coloured spots very vivid and the black reticulation darker than in the type [typical] form, defining the coloured parts sharply. The red bands are brilliant terracotta. The name covers extremely brightly coloured and contrasting examples; see figures in Hübner.Samml.Eur.Schmett.1.figs.4-6. It is not a name for Irish examples only, since Kane gives English localities as well as Irish for the form.

ab. rectiangula (Cabeau.Rev.Mens.Soc.Ent.Nam.1924.24.p.17.,

On the upperside of the forewings there is a large whitish-yellow rectangular blotch in the centre of the inner margin, caused by the union of two yellow spots.

ab. scotica (Kane.(nec.Robson).Entom.1893.26.p.187.)

This is not the scotica of Robson although Kane apparently used it because Robson had done so earlier. He says that Robson used it under the impression that Birchall had given it to the Scottish race. Kane apparently had not seen Robson’s description in the Young.Nat.1880.2.p.37 since he describes a quite different form under the same name here; it is not a race but an aberration. The black areas increased and intense, filling up the basal areas of all wings as far as the discoidal patch on the forewings and to the pale median row of spots on the hindwings, the pale discoidal spot usually being retained and some traces of fulvous on the costa. The outer half of the forewings has the black invading the coloured patches, obliterating some and reducing the size of the rest, the straw-coloured patches duller. Kane’s name, under the new rules placing aberrations in a separate class [Goodson & Read], can still stand as an aberration, distinct from subspecies scotica Robson. It must be an extremely dark form and certainly not confined to Scotland since after giving Aberdeenshire as the locality then mentions several localities in Ireland and one from Lancashire; it is rather puzzling as to why he thought it was Robson’s scotica.

ab. sebaldus (Schultz.Ent.Z.1906.19.p.206.fig.)

On the underside of the hindwings the red marginal band is broken up or completely absent, leaving the outer half of the wings whitish or yellowish, except for a thin marginal line, the black spots sometimes also absent. In the basal area the light spots are sometimes bordered with black.

ab. semifuscata (Cabeau.Rev.Mens.Soc.Ent.Nam.1919.19.p.61.)

The upperside of the forewings covered with strong brownish so that the yellow spots are absent and most of the markings confused. The hindwings normal.

ab. semigracilens (

The forewings uniformly fulvous with the lines very thin or obliterated. The hindwings however greyish-black with some fulvous markings more or less well developed.

ab. semigriseis (Cabeau.Lamb.1931.31.p.3.)

The upperside of the hindwings is pale and washed-out, the normal pattern is grey and the antemarginal band, normally red, is yellow. The forewings are quite normal and form a striking contrast to the pale hindwings.

ab. sesostris (Schultz.Ent.Z.1906.19.p.206.fig.)

= demaculata Bubacek.(in part).Verh.zool.-bot.Ges.Wien.1923.73.p.24.
= pauper Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.

On the underside of the hindwings the basal area is uniformly rust-red, with no spots or very small ones.

ab. sesquiargentea (Verity.Farf.Diurn.It.1950.4.p.72.)

Albino. The fulvous colour is normal but the black patterning replaced by silvery-whitish. This was described but not named by Oberthür in Lep.Comp.3.p.231.

ab. signifera (Kane.Entom.1893.26.p.158.)

On the upperside of the hindwings the upper half of the fulvous submarginal band is prolonged inwards invading the central series of yellow spots and colouring the costal half of the normally black basal area. On the forewings the cellule is isolated by broad black edging from the rest of the wing, a trait seen to a lesser degree in the basal blotches below the median vein, the two areas looking like the fore and hindwings of a “Tinea”. This form, described from Penarth, Wales, is not racial but an aberration.

ab. splendida (Mauny.Lamb.1949.49.p.105.)

Male with the forewings pure rose-pink, all the usual black and yellow spots having disappeared. The black spots are replaced by spots of bright redcurrant colour. The patterning of the forewings is almost extinct and the scaling very poor. The hindwings are normally scaled on a rose-pink ground colour and all the patterning is in redcurrant colour, the rows of submarginal spots are present but instead of black are a fine metallic blue colour. Body, legs and antennae are white.

ab. subtus-nigrescens (Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.)

On the underside of the hindwings the light-coloured basal spaces are surrounded by brownish-black dusting.

ab. suffusa (

Fore and hindwings divided by a thin yellow median transverse line, which separates two contrasting colours of black and red. The basal half is suffused blackish, the outer half reddish or orange-brown, with the markings more or less normal. In the dark basal half there are faint indications of yellow spots near the costa.

ab. tetramelana (Cabeau.Lamb.1931.31.p.174.)

= nigropunctata Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.

On the underside of the hindwings the basal area carries four black spots in place of the normal pale ones. Caruel’s nigropunctata has the light basal spaces black rather than yellow or fulvous. It may apply to one, several, or all. Description from Verity.Farf.Diurn.It.

ab. transversa (Cabeau.Lamb.1928.28.p.11.,

The upperside of the forewings cut by a broad black fascia in the median area. The figure shows this band on the inner side of the main row of yellow spots, continuous from costa to inner margin.

ab. unifasciata (Caruel.Misc.Ent.1944.41.p.8.)

On the underside of the hindwings the light-coloured median band is not edged by a black line or spots.

ab. virgata (Tutt.Brit.Butts.1896.p.318.)

= sterlineata
= flavofasciata Hackray.Lamb.1934.34.p.126.,
= alba-fasciata

On the upperside of the forewings the straw-coloured band is normally divided at its upper part by a thin black streak. In ab. virgata Tutt this is absent, resulting in one broad, conspicuous, yellowish median band. The figures of the synonymous forms show broad median bands of varying widths. Frohawk gives his form the misleading name of ab. alba-fasciata, the band is not white in the type specimen.