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 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.
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. A number of 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: –
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 clearly 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 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 in color. The female is usually larger in size 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: –