Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis daphne)

next page           back to list

2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

12761_male_Isère_11Jul08 11227_male_Rhône_15Jun08 20843_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_19Jun10
35889_male_Alpes-Maritimes_5Jul14 11244_female_Rhône_15Jun08 12759_male_Isère_11Jul08
   
11259_female_Rhône_15Jun08    

Daphne is quite common and widespread but its close relative the Lesser Marbled Fritillary (B. ino) seems to be less common and more generally found at altitude. They are not too difficult to tell apart as the ino upperside has heavier black continuous borders, whereas the daphne borders are lighter and usually not quite continuous. Daphne also seems to me to be a much brighter orange, and is larger than ino, especially the female. Daphne is a mid-size fritillary, being about halfway between Melitaea species and the Argynnis species, and can almost be identified in flight by its size and bright colouring.

Although the undersides are very similar, the markings of ino being generally lighter, there is a very convenient identifier: the creamy space in s4 in the discal band nearest the margin (see below) – in daphne it is half-obscured by reddish-brown, while in ino is clear pale yellow (maybe with just a few purple scales). This seems to be constant.

 
ref sex

observations

alt. m
12761 M

a male, puddling.

1120
11227 M

a male, quite small and dark.

165
20843 M

a male, an aberration with very large upf black marks, possibly arising as a result of the unusually cold and wet spring weather in this region in 2010. I believe it to be daphne based on the uph borders not being entirely continuous; the borders of ino are be continuous and appear darker. I am not 100% certain that this is daphne, though.

900
35889 M a male, fairly fresh. 1000
11244 F

a large and very orange female.

165
12759 M

a male, the underside of 12761.

1120
11259 F

a female, the underside of 11244. The enlarged version shows some strange attachments to the coiled proboscis, presumably preventing it from being fully retracted. Expert opinion suggest that this is from flowers of the Milkweed family on which 11259 had been nectaring, the lobes attaching themselves as a means of dispersal.

165

  

daphne                                                               ino

 

12761_male_Isère_11Jul08

 

11227_male_Rhône_15Jun08

 

20843_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_19Jun10

 

35889_male_Alpes-Maritimes_5Jul14

 

11244_female_Rhône_15Jun08

 

12759_male_Isère_11Jul08

 

11259_female_Rhône_15Jun08