Dark green fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary - K.Noble

This butterfly's Latin name is Argynnis aglaja. It belongs to the family Nymphidae.


The Dark Green Fritillary is the most widespread fritillary found in the British Isles and is a pleasure to see as it flies powerfully over its grassland habitats, frequently stopping to nectar on thistles and knapweed. It gets its name from the green hue found on the underside of the hindwings, which are peppered with large silver spots.

Subspecies: aglaja

This subspecies occurs through the range of the species, with the exception of Ireland, Scotland (although it is found in southern Scotland), and the Isle of Man.

Subspecies: scotica

This form is found in Ireland, Scotland (except southern Scotland), and the Isle of Man. This female of this form is darker than aglaja females.


This butterfly can be found throughout the British Isles, especially in coastal areas. It is the only fritillary found in the Orkneys and Outer Hebrides. Despite its powerful flight, somewhat surprisingly this species is not particularly mobile, staying within its breeding grounds.

Annual CycleEdit

Adults generally emerge in the middle of June, reaching a peak in early July. In northern Scotland, adults emerge a little later, at the end of June, reaching a peak at the end of July and early August. There is one generation each year.


The characteristic habitat of this butterfly is open, windswept calcareous grassland. However, in some areas it can also be found in woodland clearings and coastal dunes.

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