Home The Butterflies of Gloucestershire Species Habitats Conservation



Argynnis paphia
Male, 24 July 1993 Pair, 30 July 1977


The Silver-washed Fritillary is a woodland butterfly. It is more tolerant of shady conditions than the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, but it also needs open areas, tracks or some other flower-rich habitat where it may often be seen taking nectar.

The larval foodplant is Common Dog-violet Viola riviniana, found in woods throughout the area.

The female form valezina, which lacks
the normal golden brown colouring, occurs
less often in Gloucestershire than in more
southern counties. Out of more than 750
records for the species, it was recorded
on just 6 occasions.

This valezina female was photographed
in the Forest of Dean on 16 July 1983

Conservation Issues

Small populations of this species still survive in woods which have received little or no management for some years. Under ideal conditions the Silver-washed Fritillary can be very numerous, particularly if there are plenty of nectar sources in or around the wood.

Flight Period

In most years, early July to late August.


In most of the larger areas of woodland. It is commonest within the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds south of Cheltenham.