Spotted Fritillary

Melitaea didyma (Esper, 1778)



A medium sized orangey-brown butterfly with black-brown spots, and hindwing underside with cream bands. Females are duller and browner than the males. The butterfly can be easily confused with other members of the genus. The main distinguishing feature is that the upperside has distinct spots, always round submarginal spots, rather than the spots merging together to form lines or bands. 

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

Weasel's-snout Misopates orontium Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys, Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys subsp. chamaedryoides, Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys subsp. chamaedrys. In Corfu larvae are found on Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata.


A common butterfly usually appearing in early May. Prior to this date full grown caterpillars are regularly found in plantain rich habitats. Unusual for small Fritillaries this is a sexually dimophic species.

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

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 06/05/2023 16/09/2023 133 days
2022 12/05/2022 12/09/2022 123 days
2021 02/05/2021 03/09/2021 124 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 225
2022 266
2021 382
Grand Total 873

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Spotted Fritillary (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Spotted Fritillary (All Data)

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


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Spotted Fritillary
  • Family: Nymphalidae (Rafinesque, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Nymphalinae (Rafinesque, 1815)
  • Tribe: Melitaeini (Newman, 1870)
  • Sub-tribe: Melitaeina (Newman, 1870)
  • Genus: Melitaea (Fabricius, 1807)
  • Species: didyma (Esper, 1778)


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