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.
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Author: Jane M. Struttmann and Paul A. Opler