Home The Butterflies of Gloucestershire Species Habitats Conservation

Dark Green


Argynnis aglaja
Female, 10 July 1976 8 June 1984 (on Welsh coast)


The Dark Green Fritillary is seen mainly on extensive unimproved grassland, where it usually lays its eggs on Hairy Violet Viola hirta. It can use some other violet species, and open woodland habitat with grassy areas can support small populations.

In the spring the larvae can sometimes be seen at rest in direct sunlight, gaining warmth to assist their development.

The butterfly is occasionally found on smaller grasslands and in other places, including gardens. The species is a strong flier.

Conservation Issues

Any loss of the remaining unimproved grassland habitat is a threat to colonies of this species. Heavy levels of grazing in the summer reduce a site's suitability, and total lack of annual grazing leads to a gradual loss of habitat.

Flight Period

Usually from late June to mid or late August.


There are colonies on most of the larger areas of grassland throughout the Cotswolds, but with some reduction in range in recent years. Also in a few other places, with low numbers in the Forest of Dean area.