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Arctic Fritillary (Boloria chariclea)
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Arctic Fritillary (Boloria chariclea [Schneider])

Wing span: 1 3/16 - 1 1/2 inches (3.1 - 3.9 cm).

Identification: Variable. Wings orange-brown with dark markings. Underside of hindwing margin has thin white spots topped with brown; inwardly pointing triangles are black with little or no white areas. Median band pale yellow-brown to purple-brown with wavy, sometimes broken, black line.

Life history: Males patrol during warm daytime hours along edges of bogs and in valleys. Females lay eggs singly on the lower surface of leaves of many different plants; caterpillars eat the leaves of their host plants. This species requires 2 years to mature in high elevations of Colorado, Alberta, and the arctic; newly-hatched caterpillars hibernate the first winter, fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate the second winter. In other locations newly-hatched caterpillars overwinter, then complete their development the following spring and summer.

Flight: One brood from late June-August.

Caterpillar hosts: Violets (Viola), scrub willows (Salix), and possibly blueberries (Vaccinium).

Adult food: Nectar from goldenrods (Solidago graminifolia, S. rugosa, and S. squarrosa) and asters.

Habitat: Taiga, tundra, alpine meadows and streamsides, acid bogs.

Range: Holarctic. Alaska through most of Canada east to Labrador and south to the north Cascades, south through the Rocky Mountains to Utah and northern New Mexico; northern Minnesota, northern Maine, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Conservation: Not usually of concern, but colonies in New England are limited.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: Monitor New England populations and recommend any necessary conservation steps.

Comment: Previously referred to as Titania Fritillary (Boloria titania [Esper]), now considered to occur only in Eurasia.


Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 442 pages.

Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. Lafontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. 
     University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 282 pages, 32 color plates.

Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co., 
     Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns 
     Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson 
     field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, 
     Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including 
    adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. 

Author: Jane M. Struttmann and Paul A. Opler

State and Regional References:

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data
     for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.
Arctic Fritillary (Boloria chariclea)
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