The medium to large fritillary butterflies, 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 colour 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).

Tribe: Argynnini

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 butterfly. 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 front wing shows three distinct black scent stripes. Furthermore, the top is covered with a black spot pattern. The underside of the front wing is orange-yellow and the rear wing 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, thistles. Dutch name: Keizersmantel. Frisian name: Keizersmantel.


Small Pearl-bordered 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 wing edge and larger spots spread over the rest of the wing. The outer edge of the wings 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 centre cell on the underside of the rear wing is the hallmark that best describes the Small Pearl-bordered 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.