Melitaea britomartis Assmann, 1847


Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim, July 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim, July 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim, July 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Melitaea britomartis: Male (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Female (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, August 2009) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Female (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim, July 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Female (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Adult (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Aberration (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Aberration lower side [N] Melitaea britomartis: Adult (eastern Swabian Alb 2008) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Upper side [M] Melitaea britomartis: Rare colour aberration [S] Melitaea britomartis: Lower side [N] Melitaea britomartis: Adult (eastern Swabian Alb 2008) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Mating [N] Melitaea britomartis: Ovae at Veronica teucrium [N] Melitaea britomartis: Ovae (detail) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Young larvae at Veronica teucrium in early September (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Webbing of young larvae (eastern Swabian Alb, August 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Webbing of young larvae (eastern Swabian Alb, August 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Webbing of young larvae (eastern Swabian Alb, August 2013) [M] Melitaea britomartis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, April 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Half-grown larva [S] Melitaea britomartis: Half-grown larva [S] Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb) Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Melitaea britomartis: Larva at Rhinanthus alectorolophus (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, early June 2010) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim/Brenz, S-Germany, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Heidenheim/Brenz, S-Germany, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva on Verbascum lychnites (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva on Verbascum lychnites (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Verbascum lychnites with larvae (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva at Veronica teucrium (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larva on a almost eaten inflorescence of Veronica teucrium (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larval head (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Pupa [S] Melitaea britomartis: Pupa [S] Melitaea britomartis: Pupa [S] Melitaea britomartis: Pupa [S] Melitaea britomartis: Pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Melitaea britomartis: Pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Melitaea britomartis: Larval habitat with Veronica teucrium (eastern Swabian Alb, April 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larval habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb in April 2013 [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larval habitat with Veronica teucrium (eastern Swabian Alb, June 2013) [N] Melitaea britomartis: Larval habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb in June 2013 [N] Melitaea britomartis: Habitat on the Swabian Alb with high caterpillar density [N]

Host plants:
The eggs are deposited particularly on Veronica teucrium, but the larvae feed also on other species of Veronica and Plantago, Rhinantus, Verbascum and other Scrophulariaceae. The caterpillars accepted also Valeriana in a breeding experiment.

Habitat:
Melitaea britomartis inhabits all kinds of calcareous grasslands. Particularly high abundances are reached in xerothermic, only slightly grazed areas with stones, rocks and the food plant Veronica teucrium (e.g. quarry succession).

Life cycle:
The caterpillar overwinters as L3 and is mature in May/June. The adults fly from June to early August. The young caterpillars webs can be found easily in August/September.

Endangerment: endangered

Endangerment factors:
Due to the general decline of nutrient-poor grasslands, Melitaea britomartis is increasingly threatened. But on the Swabian Alb (Southern Germany) this fritillary is by far the most common species of the genus.

Remarks:
The distribution ranges from central and Eastern Europe and parts of Asia to China and North Korea. In Europe Melitaea britomartis misses in the western (from France and northwest Germany on westwards), northern (local in southern Sweden) and southern parts (local in Northern Italy).



Melitaea arduinna | Melitaea asteria | Melitaea athalia | Melitaea aurelia | Melitaea cinxia | Melitaea deione | Melitaea diamina | Melitaea didyma | Melitaea parthenoides | Melitaea phoebe | Melitaea trivia | Melitaea varia