False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina)

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.

25614_male_Alpes-Maritimes_10Jun11 12775_male_Isère_11Jul08 22675_male_Isère_18Jul10
41389_male_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul16 03_03-10A_male_Ariège_Jun03 - subspecies vernetensis 7522_female_Alpes-Maritimes_26Jun07
30513_male_Alpes-Maritimes_4Jul12 25770_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_12Jun11 18436_male_Isère_13Jul09
   
21546_female_Alpes-Maritimes_5Jul10    

A very attractive and rather variable fritillary, usually (but not always) found at altitude. It is easily recognised because the uph black/dark brown has almost completely smothered the orange, reducing the orange to a series of disconnected spots mainly in the submarginal and post-discal areas. Darker specimens can look quite black in flight. It can vary in terms of size and shape, it seems to me, and can often be quite small.

The underside is characterized by the post-discal series of marks having (usually) a black spot and dark edging, although 18436 is obviously an exception.

One identification clue, that seems consistent, is that the marginal band is filled yellow.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
25614 M a typical male, quite lightly marked especially on the upf. 1400
12775 M

a VERY dark male, although the dark uph is set off by the white margins.

1120
22675 M

a quite heavily marked male, although not quite in the same league as 12775.

1120
41389 M a male, rather dusky and reddish in apearance. 1960
03_03-10A M

this shot was taken in the Pyrénées and I think it must be diamina; the new Lafranchis book carries an illustration of the diamina subspecies vernetensis from the Eastern Pyrénées, and this matches it exactly - the key-shaped discal spot in s1b of the upf is characteristic.

 
7522 F

a female, larger and generally lighter than most males. It looks very much like a dark Heath Fritillary (M. athalia) although on balance I believe it to be diamina.

1080
30513 M a male, the colouring being rather more yellow-brown than the norm. 2000
25770 M a male underside, quite heavily marked but not abnormal by diamina standards. The discal band is quite white as is the series of submarginal lunules, contrasting nicely with the yellow marginal band. 1080
18436 M

a male, in which the unh post-discal spots are faint unfilled circles rather than the solid black dots normal of diamina. The general colouring is unusually sandy yellow over the entire surface of the unh, especially the discal series (contrast with 25770).

1120
21546 F

a female underside, the dark-filled unh post-discal lunules being typical of diamina.

1080

 

25614_male_Alpes-Maritimes_10Jun11

 

12775_male_Isère_11Jul08

 

22675_male_Isère_18Jul10

 

41389_male_Hautes-Alpes_14Jul16

 

7522_female_Alpes-Maritimes_26Jun07

 

30513_male_Alpes-Maritimes_4Jul12

 

25770_male_Alpes-de-Haute-Provence_12Jun11

 

18436_male_Isère_13Jul09

 

21546_female_Alpes-Maritimes_5Jul10