Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed FritillaryThe Silver-washed fritillary butterfly is deep orange with black spots on the upper side of its wings, and has a wingspan of 54­70 mm, with the male being smaller and paler than the female. The underside is green, and, unlike other fritillaries, has silver streaks instead of silver spots, hence the name silver-washed. The caterpillar is black-brown with two yellow lines along its back and long reddish-brown spines. Adults feed on the nectar of bramble, thistles, and knapweeds, and also on aphid honeydew. The silver-washed is a strong flier, and more mobile than other fritillaries, and, as such, can be seen gliding above the tree canopy at high speed. Its preferred habitat is thin, sunny, deciduous woodland, especially oaks, but it has been known to live in coniferous woodland.