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ADULT: Wingspan - 38 - 46mm (male); 43 - 47mm (female).  The rich orange upper surfaces with variable black markings are common of the Fritillaries as is the row of post discal arc spots.  It is the undersurface of the hindwings that make identification easy with the seven silvery white spots (pearls) on the outer edge, the large oblong silvery spot in the centre and the small one close to the basal area being quite distinct.    The orange and yellow background really enhance these spots and make this butterfly a real stunner.  The underside of the forewing has  various black markings on a washed out yellowy-orange that pales towards the tip. CHRYSALIS: 14mm.  Grey brown and similar to a dead leaf which hangs to or near the foodplant, namely violets. LARVA: 20 - 25mm.  Straw coloured becoming black and with concolorous or yellow spines.  Has a row of white spots along each flank.  Located in thick undergrowth. EGG: Creamy-yellow, conical, finely ridged located on various violets.  Hatching time within 14 days. BEHAVIOUR: A combination of brief flaps and glides aid the males to patrol their territories.  Females are more elusive. HABITAT: Open woodland, lower hillside slopes, glades and grassy clearings. FLIGHT PERIOD: May - mid June.

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