Melitaea athalia (Rottemburg, 1775)

Heath fritillary (UK)
Ratamoverkkoperhonen (FIN)
Allmän nätfjäril (SWE)

This butterfly is found throughout Europe and temperate Asia. It is slightly larger than Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia), about 35-45 mm in length. It inhabits forest edges, forest clearings and meadows. Though declining in some parts of Europe, it is generally more abundant than Glanville fritillary, and is found in mainland Finland as well as in the Åland islands. Eggs are laid in June. The larvae initially live gregariously but soon disperse and overwinter singly or in small groups. In Finland Heath fritllary uses Melampyrum pratense, Veronica chamaedrys, V. spicata and Plantago lanceolata as host plants. The mobile post diapause larvae feed on a wider range of plants than the adults females use for oviposition.

Melitaea athalia, Heath fritillary mating