ADULT: Wing span 27 - 50mm. The upperside of the wings are mainly orange-brown overlain with a network of dark-brown spots and lines that run over the cross-lines and wing veins. These brown markings extend into the white fringing of the wings this giving the edge a chequered appearance. The diagnostic underside of the wings is a wonderful mosaic of orange-red, off white and more dark brown edging along the veins. All patterning of the wings is can be variable. The body is brown. CHRYSALIS: Found among ground debris and usually attached upside-down to a dead leaf or twig. This stage lasts around 2 weeks. LARVA: Black, with greyish-white spots and yellow-ornage spines. Foodplants include Common Cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense) Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys). EGG:Eggs are pale green when first laid, but soon turn pale yellow in colour. Eggs hatch in around 2 weeks. BEHAVIOUR: Heath Fritillaries fly close to the ground, alternating between quick flicks of the wings and short glides. The female has a laboured flight when carrying eggs. When the female the female finds a suitable egg laying site she will crawl around the vegetation before finally laying a haphazard clutch of eggs close to an appropriate foodplant. HABITAT: Prefers grassland, heathland and woodland and is restricted to South West and South East England. FLIGHT PERIOD: May to July.
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