Posted 24th Apr 2018
Following the report that people are being asked to keep their eyes peeled for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary when visiting the New Forest, we look at the striking butterfly
The beautiful orange and black butterfly will often be seen flying close to the ground along sunny woodland rides or feeding on spring flowers such as Common Dog-violet. Pearl-bordered Fritillaries will lay their eggs singly in bracken or leaf litter close to violets, with the foodplant of the caterpillars emerging in late June.
The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is an orange butterfly with black marks along the upperside of the wings. The underside has black and silver markings alongside a row of white 'pearls' which go along the outer edge of the wing - hence its name.
It’s easy to confuse with the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which, despite its name, is similar in both size and appearance. They are easily distinguished by their undersides - both have the seven white 'pearls' running along the edge of the hindwing, but the rest will be quite different. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary has two very distinct additional 'pearls', with the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary having a mosaic of white, oranges and browns, and as such, has the most colourful of undersides.
Information courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts / image courtesy of MWT / Tammy Stretton