Sunday, October 04, 2015

Marsh Fritillary / Hedepletvinge

Euphydryas aurinia

Characteristics:  Wing span  33 - 42 mm.  In freshly hatched condition the species are easy to recognize on the narrow wings and the variegated drawings in black, yellowish and orange brown. The colours vary much and in between the basic colour is uniform orange brown. The male can be very small with a wing span of 30 mm                                                                          

The flight is low, changing from whirring to hovering . Both sexes eagerly seek to flowers and are seen on fx Marsh-thistle, Common ragwort or Arnica.

Flight period:  The flight period is short and  rarely stretching over more than three weeks in the individual years. The safest period is 1-2 weeks in June, but the flight time may start late May in warm years stretching into July in cool years.

Habitat: The habitats are difficult to characterize. They are often border areas between moist and dry areas in nutrient-poor soil, like in the edge of heaths or bogs and in low places between the inner dunes and the heaths behind them.

The larvae: The larvae overwinters together with halfgrown larvaes in close webs upon the fodder plant Devil's bit Scabious (Succia pratensis)

Frequency and Spread:  earlier spread in local populations in big parts of Denmark but has collapsed since the late 19th century. Disappeared from Zealand in the 1920s and from most of Jutland in the period 1950-1990. Since 1990 only known from about 20 small localities in North Jutland.

Protection of the species:  the species endures no types of fertilization of their habitats. Disturbances like grazing are necessary - eventually with intervals of several years and never at the same time in the localities. It is necessary to examine how the species react in the rest of the habitats. PROTECTED.

Source: Michael Stoltze "Dagsommerfugle i Danmark", 1997

Photo juni 2010 Nordjylland: stig bachmann nielsen Naturplan Foto

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