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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Image contributed by U.K
photographer Steve Oddy.
The name "Glanville" is a tribute to Lady Eleanor Glanville, the 17th century naturalist who discovered the species.
She was sometimes described as the first lady of British natural history.
She studied butterflies at a time when it was considered improper behavior for a woman.
After her death, her family disputed her will on the grounds that she had lost her wits.
They claimed that "nobody who was not deprived of their senses would go in pursuit of butterflies".
Fritillary butterflies are so called because of their appearance, similar to the checkered pattern of the Snakeshead Fritillary flower.
These medium size butterflies have orange, black and white checkerspot forewings.
On the dorsal side of the hindwings they have a row of black dots.
The hindwings have white and orange bands and a series of black dots inside them, very visible on the reverse.
Females are usually duller than males with more pronounced black dots.
Glanville's only mate once, in June or July, then lay their eggs.
Females tend to mate in their natal groups before dispersing with a mate to lay their eggs in a different population.
This dispersal helps promote genetic flow between populations.
Spiked Speedwell and Ribwort Plantain are their preferred plants to lay eggs on and to eat as larvae.
Females will show a preference for one plant species over the other when deciding where to lay their eggs, but the caterpillars have no preference once they hatch.
After entering the adult phase, fritillaries feed on nectar of the spiked speedwell and ribwort plantain, among others.
They do not provide any protection for the eggs, or care for the offspring.
As adults, Glanvilles are quite short-lived.
They spend the majority of their lives as caterpillars.
As caterpillars, Glanville fritillaries go into a stage of diapause, (a period of suspended development). during the winter.
Glanville Fritillaries are at risk of population decline because they are not a migratory species. Although widespread, populations in Finland are at risk because they are not able to travel great distances as easily as other species, such as Monarchs, if their environment should suddenly become unsuitable.
Adult diet: assorted flower nectars.
Adult wingspan: 33 – 40 mm / 1.3–1.6 ".
* Being members of the Nymphalidae "Brush Footed" butterfly family, they use their pair of front legs for food tasting, and their two pairs of rear legs for propulsion.
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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