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A famous group of butterflies known for their remarkable "stained glass" patterns.

They belong to the Nymphalidae family, all of which share the trait of exotic showiness (Purple Emperor, Red Admiral and Comma also belong here).

Most of the fritillaries are endangered due to their specific habitat requirements.



Marsh Fritillary 1 (S)





Marsh Fritillary 2 (S)


Marsh Fritillary

Marsh Fritillary 3 (S)



Marsh Fritillary

Late evening light falls on this  beautiful but scarce butterfly.  Found in isolated pockets around the UK, from as far north as Oban, to Lands End.



Fritillary Pearl Bordered 1 (crop)


Pearl Bordered Fritillary

A nationally rare fritillary in the UK, and still declining.  Most easily told apart from the small PBF by its earlier flight period (May rather than mid June), otherwise very similar.



Fritillary Small Pearl Bordered 19




Fritillary Small Pearl Bordered 25





Fritillary Small Pearl Bordered 32





Fritillary Small Pearl Bordered 23



Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary

An increasingly scarce butterfly that likes flying quickly with occasional rests on bracken or grass close to the floor.

It is sometimes seen nectaring on thistle and bramble, but often seems to keep going without feeding.  I spent several days at a site near my home (June 2009) trying to photograph them, and chances for a good photo were rarely presented. I was finally able to cajoule one onto a foxglove for the bottom photos, a stunningly graphic plant before the buds open, but only possible because the butterfly was cold and reluctant to fly.  They never perch on foxgloves otherwise!


Photo: Forest of Dean, June 2009.




Fritillary High Brown 01



High Brown Fritillary

One of the UK's rarest butterflies occurring at only three small locations.  These were taken at a Devon site.




Fritillary Glanville 04


Glanville Fritillary


A very rare fritillary on the British mainland but more common at their stronghold on the Isle of Wight.  Often considered to be the most beautiful fritillary  The above were taken on Hampshire coast after a painstaking search.




Silver Washed Fritillary 14




Silver Washed Fritillary 15 (crop)



Silver Washed Fritillary

Our largest and most widespread fritillary often seen at bramble and thistle in July.




Fritillary Heath 1



Fritillary Heath 06




Fritillary Heath 03



Heath Fritillary

A quite scarce fritillary in the UK occurring at just a few sites in the south west of England. However, they are very common on the continent. 

These were photographed near Lydford in Devon.




Fritillary Dark Green 01



Dark Green Fritillary

Similar to the Silver Washed on top, but has a splodge of dark green on its underwing as well as large white spots.

I often see them on dune slacks and heather moorland.  Photographed at Kenfig Pools, South Wales, July 2005.





Comma 04







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