jccurd's picture

Caravan Fritillary

Observed: 4th June 2011 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebrates

The insects loved our caravan in France, this year. I'm hopeless at Fritillaries. In this case, a fritillary kept returning and seems to be either trying to mate with the reflector or hoping to camouflage itself against the reflector. I'm a romantic and prefer the first idea.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) interacts


JonathanWallace's picture

I think, possibly a heath

I think, possibly a heath fritillary but there are at least a couple of other species with similar markings with a potential overlap in range so from the photo alone I'd hesitate to identify this one to species from your photo.
As to what it is doing I think the "romantic" explanation is perhaps the more likely - the orange reflector is maybe acting as a super stimulus, mistaken for a potential mate (or rival?). At any rate I don't think it is trying to hide - when in camouflage mode these insects close their wings and hunker down low in the vegetation.

Jonathan Wallace

creaturesnapper's picture


I would tend to agree with Jonathan that this looks like a Heath Fritillary .

jccurd's picture


According to my book which is, admittedly, a very old (1980) edition of the Collins Butterflies of Britain and Europe (Higgins/Riley), a Glanville Fritillary has "4 or 5 round black spots in submarginal band" of the Upperside hind-wing. It doesn't say these spots may be absent as, sometimes, ocelli are.

This specimen has no such markings so I'm a little dubious.