This Fritillary's wing span is 33-44 mm. It is recognizable by the brown smears on the underside of the back wing and the striking dark and V-shaped spots on the seam of the back wing. In the almost similar Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Clossiana euphrosyne) are the smears reddy and the small spots at the seam of the back wing are brick red and triangular and not blackish brown and V-shaped. Seen from the upperside it is easily mistaken for other small fritillaries.
The spot pattern of the upperside varies and in rare cases is the basic colour white-yellow instead of orange-brown. The smears of the underside of the back wing varie from almost black till warm brown and the V-shaped seam-spots might be more or less sharp.
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary flies in 2 generations from late May till mid July and again from late July till late August. Most numerous in 1. generation. Its habitats are meadows, pastures, hængesækmoser (special moors where plants are intertwined above water) and heath moors and small glades or broad road sides in forests. It is widespread and common locally all over the country (Denmark). The species seem however to be in a strong decline where agriculture and foresting are most intensive.
It overwinters as a half-grown caterpillar among withered foliage. The caterpillar's fodderplants are Viola-species. The flight is regular and sometimes hovering. It is attracted to numerous flowers, but Kærtidsel Marsh thistle (Circium palustre ) is a favourite.
Protection of the species: It thrives well upon meadows and moist pastures in woods and in small glades. Establishing of coppicing, where many small parcels are cleared for tree-growth with 15-30 years intervals would be good for the species. Besides should wood-meadows and moist pastures in woods be preserved.
Source: Michael Stoltze, Dagsommerfugle i Danmark, 1997
photo Gammel Ry, Midtjylland 21. August 2010: grethe bachmann