Tribe: Melitaeini

Family:NymphalidaeRafinesque, 1815
Subfamily:NymphalinaeRafinesque, 1815
Tribe:MelitaeiniNewman, 1871
Type Genus:MelitaeaFabricius, 1807


Family: Nymphalidae

The Nymphalidae is a family of several thousand species found in all zoogeographical regions of the world. Most are medium or large in size, but the family is highly variable given that it also includes the Satyrinae, a subfamily that has been designated as a family in its own right in earlier classifications.

The forelegs in both sexes are vestigial and useless for walking. In the male, there are typically only 2 tarsal joints and the legs have a brush-like appearance, resulting in a common name for this family - the "brush-footed butterflies". The female foreleg has 4 tarsal joints which, when compared with the male, provides a mechanism of determining the sex of the adult. The midleg and hindleg are normal in both sexes and both tibia and tarsus may have spines.

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Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne)
Photo © Nigel Kiteley

White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)
Photo © Peter Eeles

The forewing always has 12 veins. Given the variability of this family, there are no further distinguishing characteristics that apply to the family as a whole.

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Nymphalidae (Danainae)
Danaus plexippus

Nymphalidae (Satyrinae)
Pyronia tithonus

Nymphalidae (Nymphalinae)
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Boloria selene

Photo © Timothy Freed, whose original drawings are shown in Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 7, Issue 1 (Emmet & Heath, 1989)

Subfamily: Nymphalinae

Description to be completed.

Tribe: Melitaeini

Description to be completed.


This tribe is represented by the following genera:


This tribe is represented by the species shown below.

Marsh Fritillary - Fontmell Down 23-May-2015

Marsh Fritillary
Euphydryas aurinia
Photo © Reverdin

Glanville Fritillary- Compton Bay IOW 23-May- 2016 (1)

Glanville Fritillary
Melitaea cinxia
Photo © Buchan Boy

Spotted Fritillary - Cantabria N-Spain

Spotted Fritillary
Melitaea didyma
Photo © johnb

Heath-Fritillary- 5D39908. Kent, June 2015

Heath Fritillary
Melitaea athalia
Photo © IainLeach