Contents ] SmallTortoiseshell ] Peacock ] Pearl-borderedFritillary ] DarkGreenFritillary ] [ Silver-washedFritillary ] MarshFritillary ] 

silver-washed fritillary   <>   argynnis paphia   <>   fritileán geal


Female                                                               © D Hardiman

abitat:  The Silver-washed Fritillary,  Irelands largest resident butterfly, is scattered throughout Ireland where there is deciduous woodland and hedgerow.  
It is single brooded.
Larval Food Plant:  
                          Common Dog Violet  Viola riviniana
Flight Time:   Mid-June to mid-September 
Hibernation:   Overwinters as a larva.

The uppersides of the male's wings have a rich orange groundcolour  with black spots and lines and four conspicuous sex bands along the central  veins,  it also has a strong gliding flight.  
The female uppersides are duller in groundcolour  with large black spots. 
On the undersides the hindwings of  both sexes are washed  with four silver streaks on a greenish  background. 


Silver-washed Fritillary, Sth. Mooghaun Wood, Limerick. 14th July '05

Silver-washed Fritillary           © DHardiman




     Life Cycle of  the Silver-washed fritillary


The conical pale green-yellow eggs are c.1.0 mm in height and are laid singly in crevices of the bark of trees,
among mosses and lichens,  about a metre from the ground and close to the foodplant in July and August.
They hatch in c.2 weeks.

Silver-washed Fritillary ovum   © DHardimam 2009

 © DHardimam 2009 


After eating part of  its eggshell,  the tiny larva immediately goes into hibernation, overwintering in 
crevices of  the tree trunk, and becoming active again the following April.  It descends to the ground in search of  
its foodplant and feeds by day on violet leaves in sunny pockets of the woods and hedgerows until fully grown 
towards  the end of  May.  
After spending c.10 months as the larva it enters pupation.

Silver-washed Fritillary Larva on Violet leaf

 © DHardimam 2002 


The pupa is well camouflaged and looking like a withered leaf  is difficult to find.  It is suspended among dead
vegetation from a silk pad by its cremasteral hooks.  This stage lasts c.2-3 weeks.


Adults emerge and are on the wing from mid-June to mid-September.  During this time they feed, mate
and the female oviposits.

Silver-washed Fritillaries mating. Photo QED Male

Silver-washed Fritillaries mating



   Female                                                         Male                           © DHardimam 



 Contents ]

 SmallTortoiseshell ] Peacock ] Pearl-borderedFritillary ] DarkGreenFritillary ] [ Silver-washedFritillary ] MarshFritillary ] 

Hesperidae ] Pieridae ] Lycaenidae ] Nymphalidae ] Satyridae ] Migrants ] .