Violet Fritillary
Boloria (Clossiana) dia

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Boloria dia

Female, Switzerland, May 2017

Boloria dia

Male, Switzerland, April 2012

Boloria dia

Male, Switzerland, August 2017

Boloria dia

Female, Switzerland, April 2014



Switzerland, June 2011

Boloria dia

Male, Switzerland, May 2010

Boloria dia

Male, Switzerland, May 2010

Boloria dia

Switzerland, May 2013

Boloria dia

Female, Switzerland, September 2011

Boloria dia

Switzerland, May 2013

Switzerland, September 2005

Mating pair, female above, Switzerland, April 2007

The same pair.

Switzerland, July 2006

I think this was Hungary, in July 1994

(Partial melanic, Switzerland June 2002)

Boloria dia distribution

Distribution

The violet fritillary - also known as Weaver's fritillary - is very common in Swiss meadows from the valley floor up to about 1500m or locally higher, flying from spring to autumn in two or three broods. I'm not sure why I have such a poor set of pictures of it - perhaps a combination of its constant movement and the fact it frequents rather cluttered environments, frequently finding nectar sources deep in the grass. The species is widespread and often common in hilly ground across Europe.

From the upperside the butterfly resembles a smaller version of Titania's fritillary, though the chess pawns around the hindwing have big heads and little bodies. It might also be mistaken for a small pearl-bordered fritillary in later broods, which are larger and brighter than the spring brood. However, the wing shape is noticeably different from that of either of these species (the hindwing having a 90 degree angle at the apex in the male) and the overall appearance, even in flight, is actually very distinctive once you are familiar with this fritillary. If in doubt, however, the underside leaves no room for confusion. The 'bubbly' silver spots and rich shades of yellow, reddish and violet, together with the prominent, dark post-discal spots, are quite distinctive.

The larvae feed on various species of violet. Those of the last brood of the season hibernate while half-grown, feeding up rapidly in the spring to produce an early spring brood, before any of the other Boloria species are on the wing.