Glanville Fritillary

Melitaea cinxia (Linnaeus, 1758)



A medium sized orangey-brown butterfly with black-brown wavy lines, and hindwing underside with cream bands. Females are duller than the males. The butterfly can be easily confused with other members of the genus. The main distinguishing features are that the hindwing upperside has a series of black submarginal spots, which are repeated on the underside. 

Habitat Requirements

Meadows, scrub and woodland edges. There is some evidence that this species responds to the ecological succession that takes place after the management of olive groves by pollarding.

Larval Foodplants

Water-plantain Alisma plantago-aquatica, Centaurea alba, Centaurea alba subsp. deusta, Centaurea alba subsp. subciliaris, Red Star-thistle Centaurea calcitrapa, Cornflower Centaurea cyanus, Centaurea paxorum, Centaurea pumilio, St Barnaby's-thistle Centaurea solstitialis subsp. solstitialis (yellow flowers),Centaurea sonchifolia, Centaurea spruneri, Plantago afra, Plantago bellardii, Plantago bellardii subsp. bellardii, Buck's-horn Plantain Plantago coronopus, Sea Plantain Plantago crassifolia, Plantago lagopus, Plantago lagopus subsp. lagopus, Greater Plantain Plantago major, Greater Plantain Plantago major subsp. intermedia, Greater Plantain Plantago major subsp. major, Plantago serraria, Plantago weldenii, Plantago weldenii subsp. weldenii.

In Corfu larvae are found on Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata.


Thanks to CBC member Bob Giles we know that in Corfu Melitaea cinxia larvae come out of communal hibernation during February and March. In their final instar they wander off alone and search for a place to pupate.

Dan Danahar found a wild pupa hanging from under the side of a rock, on 15 April 2019, near Old Perithia. Adult butterflies appear in April, eariler than Melitaea didyma

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Glanville Fritillary submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 19/04/2023 23/08/2023 126 days
2022 06/04/2022 01/07/2022 86 days
2021 14/04/2021 23/06/2021 70 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 877
2022 1052
2021 1250
Grand Total 3179

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Glanville Fritillary (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Glanville Fritillary (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month since 1st January 2021


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Glanville Fritillary
  • Family: Nymphalidae (Rafinesque, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Nymphalinae (Rafinesque, 1815)
  • Tribe: Melitaeini (Newman, 1870)
  • Sub-tribe: Melitaeina (Newman, 1870)
  • Genus: Melitaea (Fabricius, 1807)
  • Species: cinxia (Linnaeus, 1758)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.