Sunday, 16 June 2019

Marsh Fritillary

A Marsh Fritillary butterfly found today by Alan Dawson is a first record in recent times for this rare butterfly.

I am unable to find any documented records for this species in the Cholsey area but could well have been around early last century.

Adults feed on nectar primarily on Betony, Bugle, Buttercups, Cuckooflower, Dandelion, Hawkweeds, Knapweeds, Ragged Robin, Thistles and Tormentil.

Its caterpillar food plant is Devil’s-bit Scabious (also Field Scabious and Small Scabious) and habitats have been destroyed or fragmented over years and this has led to its disappearance from many former habitats.

Is this a wanderer, a release or a bona fide resident? Food plant will be looked for!

Update: Alan Dawson found no Devil's-bit Scabious around the site where this butterfly was found and as it is a female and less likely to wander it has been concluded that this was probably a release!

 Marsh Fritillary (courtesy Alan Dawson)

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