Insects of Britain and Ireland: butterflies

DELTA home

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Adults. Wingspan 29–34 mm; the fringes conspicuously light-and-dark banded. Medium built; short-bodied. The eyes white-rimmed; notched or emarginate at the bases of the antennae and contiguous with the bases of the antennal sockets; hairy. Antennae reaching about halfway to the wingtips. The antennal clubs abrupt; flattened. Labial palps porrect. The female having all 6 legs fully developed and operational for walking (and clawed), or having only 4 fully developed legs (in the male). Fore-legs of female operational for walking. Fore-legs without a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae without spurs.

Forewings. Forewings apically blunt. The outer and hind margins angled at about 95–100 degrees. The outer margins convexly curved. Uppersides of the forewings light brown, or orange-brown (tawny, in the female), or dark brown, or fuscous (in the male); contrastingly dark-veined; without a discal mark; blackish with three interrupted transverse tawny bands in the male, similar in the female but with the tawny bands wider, so that the appearance is better described as tawny with blackish markings.

Hindwings. Hindwings broadly rounded; with the outer margins scalloped. Uppersides of the hindwings light brown, or orange-brown (tawny, in the female), or dark brown, or fuscous (in the male); conspicuously dark-veined; conspicuously patterned (with tawny chequering, like the forewings); without a discal mark; colour-patterned similarly to the forewings.

Undersides of wings. Undersides of the forewings patterned like the uppersides, but pallid and lacking the blackish basal and discal components; not dark-veined, or conspicuously dark-veined to not dark-veined.

Undersides of the hindwings complexly patterned like the uppersides, but paler and with tawny markings of the uppersides replaced by antemedian and postmedian series of large whitish spots, and with a series of 5 or 6 blackish dots in yellowish crescents along the termen; not dark-veined, or conspicuously dark-veined to not dark-veined; eye-spotted. The eye-spots 5–6; aligned posterior towards the apex, mid-posterior, and near the tornus. Undersides of the hindwings without a discal mark.

Wing venation. Forewings 12 veined. Forewings with 1 tubular anal vein; the anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only; vein 1b furcate proximally. Forewings with a discal cell. Forewing veins 8 and 9 out of 7.

Hindwings 9 veined; with a praecostal spur; with 2 anal veins; exhibiting vein 1a; the anal veins comprising 1a and 1b. 7 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins 3+4 proximally joined and 6+7 proximally joined (3+4 connate, 7+8 stalked).

Eggs, larvae, pupae. Eggs very shortly barrel-shaped (shortly cylindric and apically concave); more or less smooth. The larvae woodlouse-shaped (lycaenid-like, but lacking the honey-gland common in that family); having no known association with ants; hairy. On Primula.

Pupae smooth and rounded (rounded); conspicuously patterned; exposed, with no coccoon; not suspended, but attached at the tail and secured by a median girdle of silk.

British representation. 1 species. Hamearis lucina (Duke of Burgundy Fritillary). The adults abroad May to June.

Status in Britain. Indigenous.

Distribution. Southern Scotland, northern England, English Midlands, East Anglia, Wales, southeast England, central southern England, southwest England, and Isle of Wight. Frequenting woodland. Habitats calcareous and non-calcareous.

Classification. Superfamily Papilionoidea. Riodinidae.

Illustrations. • Hamearis lucina (Duke-of-Burgundy Fritillary: B. Ent. 316). • Hamearis lucina (legend+text: B. Ent. 316). • Hamearis lucina (text, cont.: B. Ent. 316). • Hamearis lucina (Duke-of-Burgundy Fritillary): photos. • Hamearis lucina : egg, larva, pupa. • Larva and pupa of H. lucina: Duponchel (1849). • Hamearis lucina: Newman, 1871. Hamearis lucina (Duke-of-Burgundy Fritillary). From Newman, 1871.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2008 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: butterflies. Version: 16th May 2016.’.