Cynthia’s Fritillary-Euphydryas cynthia

Image Size: 10″ x 7-3/4″

One of the brushfoot butterflies or nymphs, Cynthia’s Fritillary is an inhabitant of the Alps and mountains of Bulgaria. This butterfly usually flies above treeline on moors and heaths and in meadows up to about 3,000 m with only one flight or brood per season.

The males are quite distinctive, with the intricate orange and black checkered patterned markings accented in creme at the base and with a checkered creme and black fringe along the wing margin. The female is dimorphic with muted tones of red-orange to gold and a broader contiguous golden band across the middle of both wings.

As with other members of this genus, the larvae of Cynthia’s Fritillary are gregarious and are associated with lady’s mantle (alchemilla) or plantain (plantago) species. With such a restricted habitat and short season, this butterfly can often be observed flying about the prime nectar sources on sunny or bright overcast days.

Text by Jacqueline Miller, PhD, Associate Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History and Former President, Lepidotpterists’ Society

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