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Butterflies of Europe
Lesser Spotted Fritillary
Melitaea trivia  SCHIFFERMULLER, 1775
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - NYMPHALINAE
Tribe - MELITAEINI
subtribe - EUPHAEDRYINA
Lesser Spotted Fritillary Melitaea trivia, Velebit mountains, Croatia Peter Bruce-Jones
Introduction
The genus Melitaea comprises of about 70 small-medium sized butterflies - species which are only very distantly related the the larger Fritillaries such as Argynnis and Argyreus, which are members of the subfamily Heliconiinae.
Melitaea are distributed widely across the Palaearctic region from Portugal and Spain to Tibet, China and Japan. There are 8 European species, of which 4 extend their range into north Africa. A single species abyssinica is found in Ethiopia, but the genus is not represented south of the Sahara. The remaining species, i.e. the vast majority, are inhabitants of the temperate grasslands, woodlands and mountain valleys of central Asia.
Melitaea trivia is found from Spain and Portugal, across central Europe to Tien Shan and Siberia.
Lesser Spotted Fritillary Melitaea trivia, Velebit mountains, Croatia Peter Bruce-Jones
Habitats
This is a grassland / meadow species, found at elevations between sea level and about 1500m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Scrophularia, Verbascum and Eremostachys.
Adult behaviour

Both sexes visit a wide range of herbaceous flowers for nectar. They roost overnight on the flower-heads of plantains, thistles and grasses.

Lesser Spotted Fritillary Melitaea trivia, unnamed aberration, Bulgaria Emily Halsey

 

 

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