Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Boloria euphrosyne

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Butterflies and moths
  4. Pearl-bordered Fritillary

About

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is a striking orange and black butterfly, often seen flying close to the ground along sunny woodland rides or feeding on spring flowers such as Common Dog-violet.  Pearl-bordered Fritillaries lay their eggs singly in bracken or leaf litter close to violets, the foodplant of the caterpillars which emerge in late June. 

How to identify

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is an orange butterfly with black marks on the upperside of the wings. The underside have black and silver markings along with a row of white "pearls" along the outer edge of the wing which give the species its name. Easily confused with the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which despite its name, is very similar in both size and appearance. They are most easily distinguished by their undersides - both species have the 7 white "pearls" running along the edge of the hindwing but the rest is quite different. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary exhibits 2 very distinct additional "pearls", whereas the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary has a mozaic of white, oranges and browns and, as such, has the more colourful underside.

Where to find it

Found in Southern England and Wales

Habitats

When to find it

Adults are typically flying between mid April and early June

  • April
  • May
  • June

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Managing rides so they are open and sunny with coppice and flower rich grassy margins helps provide the ideal habitat for many invertebrates which, in turn, support larger animals. By volunteering for your local Trust, you can help too and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Local information

Britheg Berlog

The last remaining stronghold for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary in Wales is Montgomeryshire where populations are now thought to occur on nine sites. These are mostly warm, sheltered, south-facing bracken-covered hillsides, but these are vulnerable both to overgrazing by sheep or the abandonment of grazing. Overgrazing can severely reduce the abundance of the larval food-plant and it also reduces the abundance of spring flowers, which are an essential source of nectar for the adults. Abandonment of grazing will, in a few years lead to an increase in the amount of bramble and scrub with the consequence that the violets become shaded out. Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust works hard to ensure the habitat is the best it can be for the species at all known sites.

As well as this habitat management, we have been carrying out annual monitoring for the species since 2002. Due to the work of organisations including Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, the butterfly is bucking the UK trend in Wales; monitoring shows that numbers are increasing slightly.

For more information on our Pearl-bordered Fritillary work, click here.

Species information

Common name
Pearl-bordered Fritillary
Latin name
Boloria euphrosyne
Category
Invertebrates
Butterflies and moths
Statistics
Wingspan: 3.8-4.7cm
Conservation status
Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species