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Butterfly taxonomy (classification) The skippers The swallowtails The whites The hairstreaks, coppers and blues. Includes the Duke of Burgundy. The nymphalids, fritillaries and browns. Includes the Monarch.
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D37078 Wyre Forest May 2012
Wingspan
Male: 38 - 46mm
Female: 43 - 47mm
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Boloria euphrosyne
boh-LOR-ee-uh
you-froz-SY-nee
Number: 59.014
B&F No.: 1601
Family:Nymphalidae (Swainson, 1827)
Subfamily:Heliconiinae (Swainson, 1827)
Tribe:Argynnini (Duponchel, 1835)
Genus:Boloria (Moore, 1900)
Subgenus:Clossiana (Reuss, 1920)
Species:euphrosyne (Linnaeus, 1758)
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  Introduction  

This woodland butterfly gets its name from the series of "pearls" that run along the outside edge of the underside of the hindwing. Males are often seen flying swiftly, low across the breeding site in search of a mate and are extremely difficult to follow, the colouring of the wings providing excellent camouflage against the dead bracken that is often found at these sites. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary may fly with the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary at certain sites, although the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which emerges a couple of weeks before the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, generally appears much paler in colour as a result.

In England and Wales this butterfly in scattered and isolated colonies south-west of a line running between Denbighshire in the north-west to East Kent in the in south-east. There are also colonies in Westmorland and West Lancashire. It is also widespread in central Scotland, but very local or absent in the north and south of the country. In Ireland it is found in the Burren limestones of Clare and South-east Galway. It is absent from the western and northern Isles of Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This butterfly forms discrete colonies which vary wildly in numbers, from a couple of dozen to over a thousand, this being largely-determined by the availability of suitable habitat. Most colonies contain a few dozen adults.

Boloria euphrosyne

This species was first defined in Linnaeus (1758) as shown here (type locality: Europe and north America).


Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 10-May-06 (0080)
Male
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary Bentley wood 30 April 2011- 03C0609
Male Underside
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered Fritillary female - Wyre Forest 01.06.2013
Female
Photo © nfreem
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary-Bentley Wood 15 May 2010  I9T7510
Female Underside
Photo © IainLeach

  Phenology  

This is the earliest of our fritillaries to emerge. In good years, the butterfly emerges at the end of April in the south - this butterfly once being known as the "April Fritillary" as a result. Most adults emerge at the start of May, but may not appear until the end of May in more northern sites. In exceptional years, there may be a partial second brood at some southern sites, with adults emerging in August.


The chart(s) above have been correlated with the phenology plot below, taken from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The blue line gives average counts over the full data set from 1976 to date, and the red line gives the average for the last year.


  Habitat  

This butterfly is typically found in deciduous woodland containing open areas, such as woodland clearings, that provide the right conditions, foodplants and nectar sources for this species to thrive. This butterfly can also be found in conifer plantations and limestone pavements in some areas. Sites are generally suitable 2 to 4 years after a woodland clearing has been formed, when the foodplants and nectar sources are optimal for this species. However, these sites can quickly become overgrown and, unless there is suitable habitat nearby, colonies will tend to die out.

  Larval Foodplants  

The primary larval foodplant is Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana). Heath Dog-violet (Viola canina) and Marsh Violet (Viola palustris) are also used.

  Nectar Sources  

Adults feed primarily on Bugle (Ajuga reptans). Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scriptus), Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.), Dandelion (Taraxacum agg.), Hawkweeds (Hieracium/Hypochoeris), Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris), Thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.) and Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) are also used.

  Imago  

Males start their day by nectaring on various flowers, such as those of Bugle, Dandelion, Bird's-foot Trefoil and Buttercup, before patrolling low over the breeding sites in search of a mate, investigating any reddish brown object encountered. When a virgin female is found, the female will fly to a suitable platform, sometimes at some height, where the two mate, staying together for 30 to 60 minutes. Egg-laying females are relatively-easy to follow in flight as they flutter slowly and deliberately low down over vegetation, searching out suitable patches of foodplant on which to lay.


Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Bentley Wood - 9 May 2010 (3)
Photo © Clive
09-May-2010
Pearl Bordered Fritillary Male - Abbots Wood, Sussex 22-April-09
Photo © Vince Massimo
22-Apr-2009
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 01-May-09 (4)
Photo © Pete Eeles
01-May-2009
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 01-May-09 (7)
Photo © Pete Eeles
01-May-2009
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 10-May-06 (0080)
Photo © Pete Eeles
10-May-2006
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 11-May-04 (3)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 12-May-06 (0113)
Photo © Pete Eeles
12-May-2006
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 20-May-04 (2)
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-May-2004
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Photo © Gwenhwyfar
03-May-2010
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 21-May-10 (1)
Photo © Pete Eeles
21-May-2010
Pearl Bordered Fritillary - Wyre Forest - 30th May 2012
Photo © Nigel Kiteley
30-May-2012
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary-Bentley Wood 15 May 2010  I9T7606
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary-Bentley Wood 15 May 2010  I9T7510
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary-Bentley Wood 15 May 2010  I9T6572
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary-Bentley Wood 15 May 2010  I9T6442
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary-Bentley Wood 15 May 2010  I9T5796
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary Bentley wood 30 April 2011- 03C0609
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary Bentley wood 30 April 2011- 03C0410
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Rewell Wood, Sussex 27-April-2012
Photo © Neil Hulme
27-Apr-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary pair - Rewell Wood, Sussex 24-April-2011
Photo © Neil Hulme
24-Apr-2011
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Rewell Wood, Sussex 24-April-2012
Photo © Neil Hulme
24-Apr-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Rewell Wood, Sussex 1-May-2010
Photo © Neil Hulme
01-May-2010
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (2m) 15.5.12 East Sussex. Downland boy
Photo © downland boy
15-May-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary female - Heyshott, Sussex 18-May-2013
Photo © Neil Hulme
18-May-2013
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (male), West Sussex (16 May 2013)
Photo © Mark Colvin
Pearl-bordered Fritillary female - Wyre Forest 01.06.2013
Photo © nfreem
01-Jun-2013
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary 5D30777
Photo © IainLeach
Wyre Forest May 2013
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary 5D32219
Photo © IainLeach
Wyre Forest May 2013
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 22-May-13-8
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 22-May-13-11
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - imago - Bentley Wood - 22-May-13-12
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - imago - Boston, Burren, Clare, Ireland - 30-May-13
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D34662 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D35699 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D36144 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D36445 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D37078 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D37258 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered-Fritillary- 5D37341 Wyre Forest May 2012
Photo © IainLeach
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Rewell Wood, Sussex 27-April-2014
Photo © mud-puddling
27-Apr-2014
DSC1717UK  Mating Pearl Bordered Fritillaries 18/05/14 Wyre Forest
Photo © whisperervan
18-May-2014

  Aberrations  

Description to be completed.

Unclassified Aberrations


Pearl Bordered Fritillary Female (dark form) - Abbots Wood, Sussex 28-May-06
Photo © Vince Massimo
28-May-2006
Pearl Bordered Fritillary Female (dark form) - Abbots Wood, Sussex 28-May-06
Photo © Vince Massimo
28-May-2006
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - aberration - Bentley Wood - 05-May-05
Photo © Pete Eeles
05-May-2005
Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Rewell Wood, West Sussex, 26 April 2011
Photo © Colin Knight
26-Apr-2011
26-Apr-2011
Peal-Bordered Fritillary - aberration - Unknown location - Unknown date [REARED] [Mike Mullis]
Photo © Mike Mullis
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - aberration - Marsland - 08-May-04 [Roger Harding]
Photo © Roger Harding
male pearl bordered fritillary, ab.transversa new copse inclosure
Photo © geniculata
12-May-2005
Pearl-bordered Fritillary: slightly melanic specimen  Rewell Wood, Sussex  25th April 2011
Photo © millerd
25-Apr-2011
Pearl Bordered Fritillary Warton Crag 12.5.12
Photo © johnjake
Pearl-bordered fritillary, 22 May 2013, Fernhurst
Photo © Pauline
22-May-2013
Pearl Bordered Fritillary - Bentley Wood 09-06-2013
Photo © Wurzel
Pearl Bordered Fritillary (ab. albinea Lambillion) - Bentley Wood 9-May-2014
Photo © andy brown
09-May-2014
Pearl Bordered Fritillary,Rewel Wood,Sussex. 24 April 2014
Photo © essexbuzzard
24-Apr-2014
Pearl-bordered Fritillary ab. - Rewell Wood, Sussex 24-April-2014
Photo © essexbuzzard
Bentley Wood - 16-May-14 [Miles Attenborough]
Photo © Miles Attenborough
15-May-2014
Bentley Wood - 16-May-14 2 [Miles Attenborough]
Photo © Miles Attenborough
Bentley Wood - 16-May-14 3 [Miles Attenborough]
Photo © Miles Attenborough

  Ovum  

Eggs are generally laid singly on the underside of a leaf of the foodplant, but may be laid on nearby vegetation. The egg is yellow when first laid, turning grey prior to the larva emerging. This stage lasts around 2 weeks.


Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - ovum - nr Stockbridge Down - 11-May-07 (1)
Photo © Pete Eeles
11-May-2007
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - ovum - Nr Stockbridge Down - 21-May-10 (1)
Photo © Pete Eeles
21-May-2010
Pearl Bordered Fritillary egg. 27/4/2012. Abbotts Wood, Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
27-Apr-2012
PBF ovum 16-May-2014
Photo © Tony Moore
Eyarth Rocks. 15.05.14.
16-May-2014
PBF ovum
Photo © Tony Moore
Eyarth Rocks. 15.05.14.
19-May-2014

  Larva  

Larvae feed by day and generally rest in leaf litter, but can also be found, especially after hibernation, basking on dead bracken. Larvae will eat whole leaves, leaving just the stem intact. They will also feed on only the leaf lobes, at the base of the leaf, leaving characteristic feeding damage that can give away the presence of a nearby larva. After moulting for the third time the larva enters hibernation, generally in a dried leaf, emerging in the spring to complete its growth. There are 4 moults in total.


Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Thatcham - 16-Jul-08 (1) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
16-Jul-2008
002 [Bob Eade]
Photo © Bob Eade
003 [Bob Eade]
Photo © Bob Eade
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Thatcham - 18-Jun-11 (22) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl Bordered Fritillary larva. Abbotts Wood. Sussex. 6/4/2011.
Photo © badgerbob
06-Apr-2011
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Hampshire - 04-Apr-12
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Hampshire - 04-Apr-12-1
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Hampshire - 04-Apr-12-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Hampshire - 27-Mar-12-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Hampshire - 27-Mar-12-3
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - larva - Hampshire - 27-Mar-12-4
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (third instar) - reared Caterham, Surrey 9-July-2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
09-Jul-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (second instar) reared - Caterham, Surrey 28-June-2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
28-Jun-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (second instar) reared - Caterham, Surrey 28-June-2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
28-Jun-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (second instar) reared - Caterham, Surrey 19-June-2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
19-Jun-2012
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (first instar) reared - Caterham, Surrey 17-June-2012
Photo © Vince Massimo
17-Jun-2012
Pearl Bordered Fritillary larva. 24/4/2013. Abbotts Wood, Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
24-Apr-2013
Pearl Bordered Fritillary larva. 24/4/2013. Abbotts Wood. Sussex.
Photo © badgerbob
24-Apr-2013
Pearl-bordered Fritillary larva (5th instar) - Rewell Wood, Sussex 27-Mar-2014
Photo © Neil Hulme
27-Mar-2014
Pearl-bordered Fritillary larva (5th instar) - Rewell Wood, Sussex  27-Mar-2014
Photo © Neil Hulme
27-Mar-2014

  Pupa  

The pupa is formed low down in vegetation, suspended head down and attached by the cremaster. This stage lasts around 3 weeks.


Pearl Bordered Fritillary Pupa case. Abbotts Wood, Sussex. 5/5/2010
Photo © badgerbob
05-May-2010
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary - pupa - Hampshire - 04-Apr-12
Photo © Pete Eeles
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - pupa - Hampshire - 22-Apr-12
Photo © Pete Eeles

  Similar Species  

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary are most easily distinguished by their undersides. Both species have a row of 7 white "pearls" running along the edge of the hindwing (hence their vernacular names). However, the remainder of the underside of the hindwing is quite different. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary exhibits 2 very distinct additional "pearls", whereas the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary has a mozaic of white, oranges and browns and, as such, has the more colourful underside.


Pearl-bordered Fritillary (left) and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (right)

It is much more difficult to distinguish Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary based on their uppersides. However, there are two general differences. The first is with regard to the row of chevrons at the edge of the forewings. In the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, these chevrons are often "floating" and not attached to the outer margin, whereas these chevrons are attached to the edge of the forewing in the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. The second is with regard to the row of spots found next to these chevrons. In the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, each of these spots is positioned midway between neighbouring markings. In the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, the dots are not midway, but distinctly closer to the chevrons.


Pearl-bordered Fritillary (left) and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (right)
  Videos  

Video © John Chapple
Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
Video © Bob Ford
pearl-bordered fritillary

  Sites  

Click here to see the distribution of this species overlaid with specific site information. Alternatively, select one of the sites listed below.

Sites
Abbots Wood, Allt Dolanog, Allt Mhuic Nature Reserve, Arnside Knott, Ashclyst Forest, Beckley Woods, Bentley Wood, Black Head, Blackmoor Copse, Bovey Valley Woodlands, Breney Common, Brickfields Country Park, Bunny's Hill, Cambus O'May, Carran, Chudleigh Knighton Heath, Clais Fhearnaig, Coulnacraig Meadow, Craigower Hill, Cwm Soden, Devil's Spittleful and Rifle Range, Dunsford Meadow, Ewyas Harold Common, Eyarth Rocks, Finglandrigg wood, Flatropers Wood, Forest Hanger Stansted Park, Gait Barrows, Glasdrum Wood, Glen Loy, Great Torrington Commons, Greenscombe Woods, Hailey Wood, Haldon Butterfly Walk, Haldon Woods, Haugh Wood, Hawkswood, Hutton Roof Crags, Jones' Rough, Kiddens Plantation, Laughton Common Wood, Leighton Moss, Linn of Tummel, Llanymynech Rocks, Loch of Aboyne, Lochaber Loch, Lydford Old Railway, Mabie Forest, Marsland Reserve, Miners Rest, Morrone Birkwood, Mullagh More, New Bridge, New Copse Inclosure, Pignal Inclosure, Rewell Wood, Slattadale Forest, Standing Hat, Thundery Meadow, Tuckingmill, Warton Crag, West Down, Whitbarrow Scar, Woodside, Wyre Forest, Ynys-Hir

  Conservation Status  

Once considered common and widespread, the Pearl-bordered Fritillary is now one of our most-threatened species. The cessation of coppicing which resulted in the loss of suitable habitat is believed to be one of the major causes of this drastic decline. Conservation efforts have therefore focused on habitat management and there have been a number of success stories. However, this butterfly is still declining and, as such, continues to be a priority species for conservation efforts.

UK BAP StatusDistribution TrendPopulation Trend
Priority Species
Click here to access the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for this species.
DecreaseDecrease

From The State of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland and the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) (2007 review).


  Links  

The following links provide additional information on this butterfly.

  References  

The species description provided here references the following publications:

ReferenceDetails
Linnaeus (1758) Linnaeus, C.: Systema Naturae. Edn.10. 1758.

  Copyright © Peter Eeles 2002-2014
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