Dark green fritillaries are now out on the wing. I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend at Hembury Woods on the Dart looking for dark green and high brown fritillaries – none of the latter yet but plenty of the former.
Dark green fritillaries are large fast flying butterflies – over the last 50 years they have undergone big declines but are still reasonably common in Devon and on Dartmoor (in the valleys opposed to the high moor). For more information of dark green fritillaries see the Butterfly Conservation website here.
Here are a few photos which I managed to get when they finally stopped flying around!
Dark green fritillaries are very difficult to tell from high brown fritillaries (which are much rarer and more endangered). The most reliable feature is the underwing pattern shown above.