Dark Green Fritillary

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This is a powerfully-flying butterfly and is the most widespread of the large fritillaries.  It is found on open flowery downland, dunes, coastal cliffs, moorland…It occurs throughout the U.K., although it has declined in particular in central and eastern England, largely as a result of the destruction and “improvements” of herb-rich grasslands.

It first appears in early June and is to be seen on the wing until the beginning of September.  Eggs are laid singly from July through August and hatch within two to three weeks.  The emerging caterpillar will hibernate when small and will then feed during the daytime before pupating at around nine months of age.  The chrysalis is suspended within a tent of grass stems and will emerge as an adult about four weeks later.