|scientific name Boloria chariclea |
common name Arctic Fritillary
Clearings, meadows and open wooded areas near coniferous forest.
One yearly brood, flying from late June to early September; most common in July.
This fritillary is best diagnosed by the predominantly purple-brown hindwing underside, variegated with paler, angular markings. B. freija is similar, but chariclea is larger and lacks the complete medain row of whitish, arrowhead-shaped marks on the ventral hindwing. Freija also flies much earlier, and the flight period doesn't often overlap.
The early stages are incompletely known. The whitish eggs are laid on the leaf undersides of various plants (Scott 1986), and hatch in about 14 days (Bird et al. 1995). First instar larvae hibernate without feeding (Bird et al. 1995). Reports that larvaer overwinter twice in Alberta, taking two years to mature (Scott 1986) require confirmation. The larva is grey with black lateral and dorsal stripes and orange spines (Bird et al. 1995). Females have red, eversible abdominal glands that function during courtship (Scott 1986).
The isolated records from the prairies of Saskatchewan (Hooper 1973, Layberry et al. 1998) may represent populations feeding on local colonies of bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi). It is likely that host plant choice depends on habitat and host availability; hosts other than willlows are almost certainly used in Alberta, since the Forest Insect and Disease Survey did not report chariclea from the thousands of larval collections from willows (McGugan 1958).
Not of concern.
Confirmed larval hosts in Alberta include willow (Salix sp.) (Scott 1986). Willows are also used in Manitoba and Alaska, in addition to bistort (Polygonum sp.) in Washington and violets (Viola spp.) in Ontario (Scott 1986). Females oviposit on Vaccinium in Ontario, northern Quebec and Colorado (Scot 1986).
Due to differing taxonomic interpretations in this group, the distribution of chariclea is not completely clear; more than one species is likely involved, and representatives of this group are found in Siberia, arctic North America, Greenland and as far south as New Mexico in the Rockies (Scott 1986).
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