Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis daphne)
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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.
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.
a male, puddling.
a male, quite small and dark.
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.
|35889||M||a male, fairly fresh.||1000|
|44503||M||a male, in angled territorial pose.||1550|
a large and very orange female.
a male, the underside of 12761.
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 suggests that this is from flowers of the Milkweed (Asclepias) genus on which 11259 had been nectaring, the lobes attaching themselves as a means of dispersal.