Melitaea athalia licufuga Fruhstorfer 1917
Common names: Heath Fritillary [En], Mélitée du mélampyre, Damier Athalie [Fr], Bosparelmoervlinder [Nl], Wachtelweizen-Scheckenfalter, Gemeiner Scheckenfalte [De], Atalía, Doncella común [Es], Κοινή µελιταία [Gr], Amannisa [Tu].
Pişenkaya, ARTVİN ● Turkey
Description: 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) is diagnostic for identification.
The full-grown sixth instar caterpillar is 22–25 mm long, and predominantly black; it has pale (yellow-orange) spines and (greyish-white) spots.
Up to eight subspecies are recognized:
• M. a. athalia Rottemburg, 1775 – from the Atlantic coast to the Bosporus (Turkey)
• M. a. norvegica Aurivillius 1888 – Fennoscandia
• M. a. celadussa Frühstorfer 1910 – northern Iberia and the Sierra Nevada, southern France, southern Switzerland, Italy (including Sicily)
• M. a. dictynnoides Hormuzaki 1898 – south-west Europe
• M. a. licufuga Fruhstorfer 1917 – south-east Europe
• M. a. reticulata Higgins 1955 – Altai
• M. a. baikalensis Bremer 1961 – southern Siberia to Amur
• M. a. hyperborea Dubatolov 1997 – Magadan, Kamchatka
Biology: Heath Fritillaries typically fly close to the ground, with characteristic "flits" and glides. Colonies tend to be compact, centred on favoured breeding areas. Heath Fritillaries are highly sedentary for the most part, adults rarely moving more than 100 m; however, some have been recorded dispersing up to 2 km. For a species of often short-lived habitats, it has remarkably limited colonizing ability; suitable habitats over 600 m from an existing colony are colonized slowly.
The female Heath Fritillary lays its eggs (or ova) in batches of (15–)80–150 on the underside of leaf of a larval food plant or on a plant adjacent to the larval foodplant.
Caterpillars hibernate for the winter in a hibernaculum, made from a curled dead leaf by spinning its edges together. Caterpillars re-emerge in early spring.
The foodplants are Plantago sp., Veronica sp., Achillea sp., Digitalis sp, Melampyrum sp.
Habitat: Diversity of grassy, flowery habitats—dry or damp, upland or lowland, with or without shrubs or trees, including woodland clearings and heathland. From sea-level to 2600 m.
Distribution: Throughout the Palaearctic region from Western Europe to Japan. In Europe, it is absent from Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, southern Portugal, southern Spain, the Mediterranean islands and southern Greece.
Wikipedia, Heath Fritillary