The medium to large fritillaries, the Longwings (Heliconiinae), range in size from 60-100mm and are protected by bitter body fluids. This makes them inedible for predators. The predators are warned by the beautiful color patterns, which are often combinations of black with red, orange, yellow, and blue. Due to the enormous variability that can occur within a species, these butterflies are sometimes difficult to identify. The Longwings are a subfamily of the Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae).
Lacewing Butterfly – 2022 (INA)
Sometimes it takes a while to find a Dutch name when you discover butterflies abroad. This also applies to the Lacewing Butterfly (Cethosia hypsea) that I discovered in Bali. This butterfly is bright orange-red above with broad black margins. With this bright orange, they warn predators that they are poisonous. The wings are scalloped, giving the hindwings an almost sawtooth-like appearance. The undersides are orange-red with white bands and are mottled with black forming an intricate pattern. Females and males can be distinguished by the wing color pattern on the dorsal (top) side. The dorsal side of the male has a black base color pattern with white spots and bright orange while females have a black base color pattern, with white and red spots. From the ventral direction, both males and females have the same color pattern with a combination of bright brown, white, red-orange, and black spots. In the ventral part, the V-shaped pattern on the edge of the wing also looks very clear with the pattern of black and white scales. In addition to the color pattern, males and females can be distinguished by the wingspan, males are smaller than females. The wingspan is 60-80mm. Host plant: Prickly Lantana and Snakeweed. Dutch name: Luipaardvlinder. Frisian name: –
Silver-washed Fritillary – 2013 (FR)
The Silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia) has disappeared from the Netherlands as a butterfly since 1980. Occasionally he was still found as a migrant from France where I found this fritillary. The Silver-washed Fritillary was found in Limburg (Netherlands) in 2005 and after 10 years this butterfly may be appointed as a resident butterfly again. The male is best recognized. The top of the orange forewing shows three distinct black scent stripes. Furthermore, the top is covered with a black spot pattern. The underside of the forewing is orange-yellow and the hindwing is greenish with silvery stripes that are widest in the female. The wingspan is 72-76mm and the flight period is from June to September in one generation. Host plant: Common Dog-violet, and Thistle. Dutch name: Keizersmantel. Frisian name: Keizersmantel.
Dark Green Fritillary – 2023 (BE)
A powerful butterfly that you often see flying quickly over open grassland with violets and rough places. The Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) is distinguished from its peers by the green color on the underside of the hindwing and the light orange band in the zoom field. Furthermore, there are numerous large, silver-colored spots on the entire wing, whereas the ones along the wing edge have a green triangular spot on the inside. The top of the fore and hind wings are orange with black spots and dots. Similar species are the High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe), and the Niobe Fritillary (Fabriciana niobe), both of which have small white spots on the underside of the hindwing with a brown-red edge, and the Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia), which has no white spots on the underside of the hindwing. The flight period is in one generation from June to the end of August and the wingspan is 45-58mm. Host plant: rough violet, tricolor violet, dog violet, dune violet. Dutch name: Grote parelmoervlinder. Frisian name: Grutte parlemoerflinter.
Silver-meadow Fritillary – 2018 (NL)
The Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) is rare in the Netherlands and an endangered species. It still occurs in peat areas in the North. The adults fly close to the ground, stopping frequently to take nectar from flowers such as Bramble and thistles. The top of the wings are orange with a row of black dots near the costa and larger spots spread over the rest of the wing. The termen has lighter orange to white spots with a black V-shape inward. The bottom is covered with light cells, some of which are white. Several cells form a crescent moon with some imagination. The black dot in the orange central cell on the underside of the hindwing is the hallmark that best describes the Silver-meadow Fritillary. The wingspan is 41-44mm and the flight period is from May to September in one or two generations. Host plant: Common Dog-violet, and Marsh Violet. Dutch name: Zilveren maan. Frisian name: Sulveren moanne.
Bog Fritillary – 2023 (BE)
During my trip to Germany and Belgium, I saw many new-to-me fritillary species, including the fairly easy-to-recognize Bog Fritillary (Boloria eunomia). The best feature to recognize this butterfly is the complete row of black eyespots with a yellowish-white center, which gives it its Dutch name. You also see two orange bands in the root and midfield. The top of the wings is orange with black spots in the zoom field and several black stripes closer to the wing root. The wing edges are slightly darker in color with small lighter triangles trimmed with dark thin lines. The flight period is in one generation from late May to mid-July and the wingspan is 28-40mm. Host plant: Alpine Smartweed and violets. Dutch name: Ringoogparelmoervlinder. Frisian name: –
Cranberry Fritillary – 2023 (BE)
In the Netherlands, this butterfly is endangered and is hardly found anymore. Only a few observations are known in Drenthe. However, I encountered the Cranberry Fritillary (Boloria aquilionaris) in larger numbers in Belgium. The tops of the wings are orange with black spots and dots. One of the better features to distinguish this fritillary butterfly from several related species is the two opposing V-shaped spots in cell 1B on the top of the forewing. The ground color of the underside of the hindwing is reddish brown with a purple tinge and gives a flamed impression of purplish, silvery, and yellow spots. The black spots on the underside of the hindwing are quite blurry. The hindwing has a straight leading edge that protrudes conspicuously behind the forewing in resting butterflies. The flight period is in one generation from mid-June to August and the wingspan is 34-36mm. Host plant: Common Cranberry. Dutch name: Veenbesparelmoervlinder. Frisian name: Feanbeiparlemoerflinter.
Weaver’s Fritillary – 2023 (BE)
The Weaver’s Fritillary (Boloria dia) is not very common in the Netherlands. I spotted my first copy in the Belgian Ardennes. This fritillary cannot be clearly distinguished at the top from the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene), the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne) and the Cranberry Fritillary (Boloria aquilionaris). The difference is in the underside of the wings. The Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Pearl-bordered Fritillary do not have purple spots on the underside of the hindwing and in the Cranberry Fritillary, the purple color is not very dominant. In addition, the Weaver’s Fritillary has dark dots on the underside of the hindwing and the upper edge corner is sharply angled. The silvery white spots in the zoom field and the middle of the wing are edged in black. The flight period is in two or three generations from late April to early September and the wingspan is 41-45mm. Host plant: Field Violet and Tricolor Violet. Dutch name: Paarse parelmoervlinder. Frisian name: Pearse parlemoerflinter.
Marbled Fritillary – 2022 (DE)
During my walk in the Irsental in the Eifel area I saw that one of the fluttering fritillaries was different from the one I had seen until then. It took a while before the Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis daphne) sat down so that I could get a good picture of it. To determine the right species you really need the top and bottom of the wings. The top of the wings are orange with a black spot and dot pattern. The black spots along the rear edge of the hind wing are conspicuous and almost detached from each other. This distinguishes the Marbled Fritillary from the similar Lesser Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis ino) where they are fused together to form a black border. Another difference is the center cell on the underside of the rear wing. In the Marbled Fritillary, it is two-colored, while in the Lesser Marbled Fritillary it is only light yellow. The flight period is in one generation from the beginning of June to the end of July and the wingspan is 30-44mm. Host plant: Blackberry and Raspberry. Dutch name: Braamparelmoervlinder. Frisian name: Toarnbeiparlemoerflinter.
Lesser Marbled Fritillary – 2023 (BE)
The Lesser Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis ino) is very similar to its relative, the Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis daphne). In both, the top of the forewing and hindwing are orange with black spots and dots, the underside of the forewing is orange with a yellow zone at the wing tip and the underside of the hindwing in the zoom field has a brown color with a purple haze. The difference on the top of the hindwing is in the contiguous black spots at the rear edge, while in the Marbled Fritillary, these are separate spots. On the underside of the hindwing, the base of cell C4 is distinctly yellow and forms a distinct, rectilinear spot separating the midcell from the dark postdiscal area. In the Marbled Fritillary, the base of cell C4 is usually reddish brown and the postdiscal field has a lilac pollination. The flight period is in one generation from early June to early August and the wingspan is 34-42mm. Host plant: Meadowsweet. Dutch name: Purperstreepparelmoervlinder. Frisian name: Poarperstreepparlemoerflinter.
Queen of Spain Fritillary – 2022 (DE)
In general, I have to wander south to see fritillaries. For example, I came across the Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) in the Eifel region in Germany, while in the Netherlands you encounter this butterfly more in the coastal regions. It took me a while to get the right photos of the moving specimen to properly identify it. The top of the front- and rear wings are orange with many black dots with the forewing showing a hollow along the trailing edge. Along the leading edge of the forewing, the black spots are more elongated. On the rear wing, you basically see two rows of black dots along the edge of the wing and a third a little more inward. On the underside of the rear wing large white oval spots can be seen with a dark zone near the rear edge with white eye spots that are outlined in black. The flight period is in three or four generations from the beginning of April to the end of October and the wingspan is 38-45mm. Host plant: Field Pansy and Wild Pansy. Dutch name: Kleine parelmoervlinder. Frisian name: Lytse parlemoerflinter.
The Rustic – 2022 (INA)
The Dutch name of this fritillary is not official. I chose this one based on the host plant. The Rustic (Cupha erymanthis) has orange-brown forewings in the basal area and dark brown in the wing tip with several spots. Between the basal area and the wing tip, there are yellowish disc spots with three or four dark brown spots in cells 2, 3, and 4. The hindwings are orange-brown with dark brown transverse lines formed by small arcs and a row of dark brown spots. The color of the underside of the wings is paler. The fast-flying adults can often be seen flying around bushes and bushes along various hiking trails. The wingspan is approximately 55mm. Host plant: Indian plum. Dutch name: Pruimparelmoervlinder. Frisian name: –
The Cruiser – 2022 (INA)
I have chosen the Dutch name of this butterfly, the Cruiser (Vindula dejone), for the time being since another one is not available. This beautifully colored butterfly is one of the most famous species in the Eastern region, but only the male has the dazzling orange wings. Like all members of the genus Vindula, this species is sexually dimorphic. The male is rich orange above and has a broad post-discal band of slightly paler color on both wings. The band is broad at the forewing and narrows almost to a point near the inner marginal corner of the hindwing. There are distinct black marginal and submarginal lines that give the wing a zig-zag appearance. There is a small orange apical spot on the forewing and six black-centered eyespots on the hindwing, usually small in size. There is a short pointed tail at vein 4 of the hindwing. The underside is lighter orange. The female is usually larger but has a pale greenish-gray color. The post-discal band is white. The hindwings have three pairs of orange-yellow, black-centered eyespots that are large and distinct. There is a small white apical spot on the forewing. The tail at vein 4 of the hindwing is longer than that of the male. The wingspan is 70-80mm. Host plant: –. Dutch name: Gewone jager. Frisian name: –