Bog Fritillary (Boloria eunomia)

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2017 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

42876_male_Nièvre_01Jun17 42903_male_Nièvre_01Jun17 42966_male_Nièvre_01Jun17

42960_female_Nièvre_01Jun17

15985_female_Nièvre_13Jun09

37533_female_Nièvre_11Jun15

16093_male_Nièvre_13Jun09

42935_female_Nièvre_01Jun17

16048_female_Nièvre_13Jun09

A wetlands species which is closely related to the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (B. selene), which it resembles and with which it often flies in company. It is now very restricted in its range, occurring in France only in the Pyrénées, the Morvan (in central France), and the peat bogs of northern France near the Belgian border. In the rest of Europe, it occurs in Scandinavia and the Swiss/Austrian Alpes. The male is rather more delicately marked than selene and the female is slightly suffused in a similar way (although to a greater extent) to the Mountain Fritillary (B. napaea). The underside is similar to selene in terms of patterning but the post-discal series of spots is solid in selene and unfilled circles in eunomia. The books describe and illustrate the colouring a creamy-white, although in at least one of these specimens it is clearly white, making for a strong contrast with the orange sections.

The 2009 and 2015 photographs were taken at the end of the flight period and all of these specimens are quite worn and the photographs do not do eunomia justice. The wetland habitat is also quite difficult terrain and so most of these photographs are distance shots. However, in 2017 I visited the Morvan site at what I hoped was the start of the flight period (these vary from year to year, so luck and guesswork play a large part) and was very pleased to find eunomia flying, fresh and in good numbers. The weather was "in and out" so there were opportunities during cloud cover to get photographs of individuals sitting still.

 

It is a species tied, almost glued, it seems to me,  (based on a visit to one site), to the larval hostplant Bistort (Polygonum bistorta), in much the same way as the Violet Copper (Lycaena helle), although eunomia never seemed to leave it whereas helle at least rested in nearby bushes. I noticed that a spiders web in the middle of the colony had six or more dead eunomia wrapped up in it; I don't often interfere in nature, but needless to say the web no longer exists.

ref

sex

observations

alt. m

42876

M

a very fresh male.

620

42903

M

a male in a rather territorial pose.

620

42966

M

a male, slightly paler orange than the norm.

620

42960

F

a fresh female, showing the extent of the dusky suffusion.

620

15985

F

a female, the dullish suffusion making it look quite dark.

620

37533

F

a rather dark female, showing some signs of wear at the end of its flight period.

620

16093

M

a male underside.

620

42935

F

a female underside, a very fresh individual, and quite a deep beige across the whole of the underside.

620

16048

F

a female underside, although I am not sure why I had labelled this as female as the ground colour is particularly white.

620

 

42876_male_Nièvre_01Jun17

 

42903_male_Nièvre_01Jun17

 

42966_male_Nièvre_01Jun17

 

42960_female_Nièvre_01Jun17

 

15985_female_Nièvre_13Jun09

 

37533_female_Nièvre_11Jun15

 

16093_male_Nièvre_13Jun09

 

42935_female_Nièvre_01Jun17

 

16048_female_Nièvre_13Jun09