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Silver-washed Fritillary

Argynnis paphia

Description:

The Silver-washed fritillary butterfly is deep orange with black spots on the upper side of its wings, and has a wingspan of 54–70 mm, with the male being smaller and paler than the female. The underside is green, and, unlike other fritillaries, has silver streaks instead of silver spots, hence the name silver-washed. The caterpillar is black-brown with two yellow lines along its back and long reddish-brown spines. Adults feed on the nectar of bramble, thistles, and knapweeds, and also on aphid honeydew. The silver-washed is a strong flier, and more mobile than other fritillaries, and, as such, can be seen gliding above the tree canopy at high speed. Its preferred habitat is thin, sunny, deciduous woodland, especially oaks, but it has been known to live in coniferous woodland. The male possesses scent scales on the upper side of the forewing that run along veins one to four. The scent produced from these scales attracts females and helps to distinguish it from other species. Unusually for a butterfly, the female does not lay her eggs on the leaves or stem of the caterpillar's food source (in this case violets), but instead one or two meters above the woodland floor in the crevices of tree bark close to clumps of violets.

Habitat:

It's a common and variable butterfly found over much of the Palaearctic ecozone – Algeria, Europe, temperate Asia and Japan

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valentinezza
Spotted by
valentinezza

Sant'Olcese, LIG, Italy

Spotted on Aug 29, 2013
Submitted on Aug 29, 2013

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