|scientific name Boloria alberta |
common name Alberta Fritillary
Dry, sparsely vegetated alpine tundra.
Single-brooded, usually in mid July, several weeks earlier or later depending on winter snowpack.
The dusky, smudged brown and dull-orange appearance of this fritillary is shared with B. improba, which is much smaller (28 - 35 mm vs. 35 - 45 mm). The Astarte Fritillary (B. astarte) is also found in B. alberta's lofty habitat, but is brighter orange with a more well-marked hindwing underside. B. alberta also has shorter, thicker antennae than astarte.
The early stages are undescribed. The life cycle takes 2 years to complete, as this species is found only in odd-numbered years at some sites, and even-numbered years at others (Guppy & Shepard 2001). In Alberta, It flies every year on Plateau Mountain, but all available records between the Kananaskis Lakes and the Columbia Icefields are from even years, while those from the Cardinal Divide region are from odd years.
Males fly to rocky ridgetops and prominences. Despite their leisurely flight, they can be difficult to approach because of the steep, rough terrain they often frequent. Females tend to be more sedentary and are usually found at slightly lower elevations.
Not of concern since the habitat is secure.
It has been suggested that the larval host is Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala), based on oviposition in the lab (Guppy & Shepard 2001). The foodplant under natural conditions remains to be confirmed. Adults nectar at Dryas spp. And Moss Campion (Silene acaulis) (Bird et al. 1995).
The Alberta Fritillary has one of the most restricted ranges of any North American Fritillary, and is found only in the front ranges of the Alberta and BC Rockies, south to northern Montana (Layberry et al. 1998).
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