Pacific Fritillary (Boloria epithore) (W.H. Edwards, 1864)

Diagnosis: This lesser fritillary has a bright orange upperside marked with black spots and bars. These markings are small and widely spaced towards the margin of the wings. The forewing tip is rounded. On the purplish-brown hindwing underside, there is a median band of irregular yellow spots. There is also an anvil-shaped white spot along the front edge of the hindwing underside. Wingspan: 34 to 44 mm.

Subspecies: Subspecies chermocki is found in coastal British Columbia; the darker subspecies uslui occurs in the interior of British Columbia and in Alberta.

Range: This is a western North American species ranging from California into Canada. It is most numerous close to the U.S. border in southern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. There is a single record from the mountains southwest of Haines Junction, Yukon.


Specimen collection data


Similar Species: The Meadow Fritillary (B. bellona) is similar, but has a narrower forewing with a squared-off tip. [compare images]

Early Stages: The grey larva is black dorsally and streaked with black on the sides. There is a reddish lateral stripe. It feeds on violets.

Abundance: Boloria epithore is the most abundant lesser fritillary in southern British Columbia; it becomes increasingly less common northwards.

Flight Season: Adults fly in June and July, earlier at lower elevations than at higher ones.

Habits: This is mainly a mountain and foothill species in Canada. It is most often found in sunnyopenings in mixed deciduous-evergreen forests, but strays out into meadows and roadsides.

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.