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Adult:             Mid May -Mid July

Caterpillar Food-plant:   Scabious

Wingspan                     40-50mm

Adult: The wings of this beautiful butterfly are brightly patterned. Males are very active on the wing stopping frequently to take feed from  flowers. The females are burdened by the weight of hundreds of eggs, and fly only short distances. In overcast weather conditions, butterflies of both sexes bask for long periods on low foliage. This butterfly has a nice courtship dance in which the female walks and flutters about on the ground amongst fine grasses, whilst the male excitedly dances around her in a series of figure-of-eight movements.
The Marsh Fritillary was once widespread in Britain and Ireland but has declined severely over the twentieth century, these are one of the rarest butterflies that you are liable to see on Mull

Immediately after hatching, the young caterpillars spin a fine silken web on the leaves of Devil's Bit Scabious, the food-plant. The larvae feed slowly, and go into hibernation in August or September, when they are still very small. In March they come out of hibernation and continue feeding. When the caterpillar reaches its final size, they become solitary, and wander some distance away in search of pupation sites.

Where to See: They can be seen on marshland and coastal areas where the food-plant, Devil's Bit Scabious grows, mainly on the shoreline.
Euphydryas aurinia

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