home

Nickerl's Fritillary - Melitaea aurelia

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Nymphalidae

Nickerl's Fritillary, Melitaea aurelia

Formerly known by the scientific name Mellicta aurelia, Nickerl's Fritillary is very similar to other members of the genus Melitaea, but is is characterised by the continuous and regular black markings on the upperwings, particulary the hindwings. Seen from beneath, there is another distinguishing feature: the narrow marginal band on the underside of the hindwing is filled in with yellow.

Nickerl's Fritillary, Melitaea aurelia, Bulgaria

Distribution

Not found in Britain and Ireland, Nickerl's Fritillary occurs in central Europe including parts of France, Germany, Austria, northern Italy but it is most common in the countries of eastern Europe, including Bulgaria.

Habitat

This species is usually found in wildflower meadows, heaths, herb-rich scrubland, moorland and peat bogs.

Lifecycle

The primary larval foodplant of Nickerl's Fritillary is Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata. The single brood of adults can be seen in flight from early June through to late July. These butterflies take nectar from various members of the daisy family Asteraceae (Compositae) as well as some other wildflowers.

Nickerl's Fritillary, Melitaea aurelia,underwing view

The specimens shown on this page were photographed in Bulgaria.

Studying butterflies and moths...


Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2022 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy