Duke of Burgundy

Hamearis lucina


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Hamearis lucina

Male, Switzerland, June 2013

Hamearis lucina

Male, Switzerland, June 2013

Hamearis lucina

Male, Switzerland, April 2014

Hamearis lucina

Female, Switzerland, June 2013



Switzerland, April 2011



Switzerland, April 2011



Switzerland, April 2011



Switzerland, May 2010



Female, Switzerland, May 2010



Switzerland, May 2010

Switzerland, May 2008

Switzerland, May 2008

Switzerland, May 2008

Switzerland, May 2005

Switzerland, May 2005

I saw my first Dukes of Burgundy when I was a child, in the Chiltern hills of England. In Britain it is a local and scarce butterfly and I still treat it as a special insect. However, in Switzerland it is reasonably common in May and June, flying wherever there is grassland with cowslips bordering woodland.

Although called a 'fritillary', it is not related to the insects in the family Nymphalidae that we now associate with this word. Fritillarius is merely the Latin for chessboard and in times past the word was applied to many different butterflies, including the grizzled skipper, which is even less closely related. The Duke of Burgundy is the only European member of the tropical and subtropical family Riodinidae, or Nemeobidae as it is sometimes known.