Melitea athalia (NL: Bosparelmoervlinder / EN: Heath Fritillary / DE: Wachtelweizen-Scheckenfalter / FR: Mélitée du mélampyre; Damier Athalie) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family. It is found throughout the Palaearctic from Western Europe to Japan, in heathland, grassland, and in coppiced woodland. Heath Fritillaries have a wing-span of 39–47 mm. The upperside is predominantly dark brown and orange-brown, with the orange-brown spots delineated by dark brown (along and across the wing-veins); there is a white fringe to the wings through which the dark brown extends. The upperside of the body is a similar dark brown to the colour on the wing, and the base of both wings is dark brown. The underside shows bands of red and (off-)white, again with each vein dark brown and each colour delineated by dark brown. The pattern of white spots at the base of the hindwing (visible at rest like in this image) is diagnostic for identification.
Image: San Vito di Cadore (IT) - 04/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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