Butterflies – Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia)

Glanville Fritillary

Key facts

The Glanville Fritillary is virtually restricted to coastal landslips on the southern half of the Isle of Wight and on the Channel Islands.

It was named after Lady Eleanor Glanville who was the first to capture British specimens in Lincolnshire during the 1690s.

The status of the butterfly appears to have changed little in recent decades, though there has been some loss of habitat due to coastal protection measures. However, there are only a handful of core breeding areas and it remains a vulnerable species.


The Glanville Fritillary and Heath Fritillary are easily distinguished in the UK since the Glanville Fritillary is generally only found on the Isle of Wight, with a small colony on the mainland. Heath Fritillary does not occur here. Where these two species do occur together on the continent, they are most easily distinguished from their undersides. The Glanville Fritillary has several spots on the underside that are not present in the Heath Fritillary.

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