Melitea cinxea   Glanville Fritillary

Melitea cinxea

As usual I was the first to give up on the hunt for this butterfly. We were primarily on Guernsey for plants but this being one the Glanville Fritillary's few breeding stations, we decided to make a special journey to look for it. We found Graylings and then the site where the Fritillary was supposed to fly. There was no sign of the butterfly.

The weather was hot and I became less and less interested when one of our party decided to move further on and look in a part where there were acres of yellow crucifers growing. Glanville Fritillary's only known food plant is Plantago lanceolata (Ribwort Plantain) a common enough wild species but near the edge of these tall brassicas, flitting amongst the Jasione montana (Sheepsbit scabious) he found a Glanville Fritillary. Then another flew by, and another until we seemed to be bombarded by them. This is the rarest butterfly I've seen but it's all down to David J. who just won't give up.

Torteval Cliffs, Guernsey, 19th June 2004

Added on 5th October 2004, amended on January 2005, updated 26th June 2008

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