Lepidoptera The Dark-green Fritillary Butterfly – Argynnis Aglaia

This butterfly is larger than Latona, as will be seen by reference to Butterfly ImagePlate II, fig. 8. Its colour is, as usual with the Fritillaries, a tawny brown with black markings. The female is usually larger than the male, and she is further distinguished by the ground colour being darker and the black markings larger.

Butterfly Image The Dark-green Fritillary. Fig. 70.-The Dark-green Fritillary-Under Side.

The under side of the fore wings is very similar in colour and markings to the upper, but there are silvery spots near the tips. The hind wings are beautifully tinted with olive green and brown, and studded with silver. The arrangement of the latter is not easily described, but is accurately represented in the accompanying woodcut.

The favourite resorts of this insect are wooded spots, and also heaths and downs clad with heather or ferns, where its food plant (the dog violet) lies scattered; but it seems to be less partial to woods than the other Fritillaries. It is very widely distributed throughout England, and is common in parts of Scotland and Ireland.

The perfect insect is on the wing in July and early August.

The caterpillar first appears toward the end of August, and commences its period of hybernation among the roots of its food plant before it has grown to any considerable size. It comes out again in the spring, and continues to feed till the beginning or middle of July, and then changes to the chrysalis state, after protecting itself by binding three or four leaves together.

Its colour is a velvety black, with dark and glossy grey between the segments. There is a double yellow line along the back, and a thin line of orange yellow on each side below the spiracles. It has a number of black hairy spines, arranged in six longitudinal rows.

The chrysalis is of a shiny black colour, with brownish abdomen; and the conical projections are black with yellow tips.