Scarce Fritillary (Euphydryas maturna)
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2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
A very scarce fritillary (for once, the name is an accurate reflection) which in France only occurs in small colonies the north-west and its range is shrinking, mainly due to habitat destruction. It has quite a wide range in eastern Europe, though. Lafranchis gives the flight period as end-May to June (possibly early July) but when I first visited the site in Côte-d'Or on 8 June 2008 there were only two rather worn females flying, suggesting that it was almost the end of the flight period.
I revisited the site on the same date in 2009 and there
were (numerous) males flying but quite worn and some of the females were a
little fresher, suggesting that 8 June is indeed near the end of the flight
period. Its numbers can vary from year to year and it seems that 2009 was a good
year. It seemed to nectar on shrubs rather than flowers.
It is generally a low altitude species, but has a rare high altitude cousin, the Asian Fritillary (E. intermedia) which I only saw for the first time in 2016, despite considerable searching.
|15903||M||a reasonably fresh male, albeit a distance shot.||320|
even though this male is quite worn, the beautiful markings are still clearly visible. It would have been magnificent when fresh.
a female, notably larger than the male, and less contrast in the markings, but quite a typical female in my limited experience.
a female, distinctly more orange than 15933 and rather fresher.