Boloria selene (NL: Zilveren maan / EN: Small Pearl-bordered, Silver-bordered Fritillary / DE: Braunfleckige Perlmutterfalter / FR: Petit collier argenté, Boloria à taches argentées ) is a delightful butterfly of the Nymphalidae family found in discrete colonies. Patrolling males can be seen flying a couple of feet from the ground, alternating a burst of rapid wing beats with a short glide, searching out freshly-emerged females in the surrounding scrub. The wing pattern, however, makes the adult butterfly difficult to follow in flight, it being much easier to observe this species when it is basking or nectaring on flowers of Bugle and other plants. This butterfly, like the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), gets its name from the series of "pearls" that run along the outside edge of the underside of the hindwing. The two species may be seen together at certain sites. B. euphrosyne and B. selene are most easily distinguished by their undersides. Both species have a row of 7 white "pearls" running along the edge of the hindwing. However, the remainder of the underside of the hindwing is quite different. B. euphrosyne exhibits 2 very distinct additional "pearls", whereas B. selene has a mozaic of white, oranges and browns and, as such, has the more colourful underside.
Image: Maloja (CH) - 18/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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