Main: (Nymphalidae / Heliconiinae)
59.016 [B&F: 1603] Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) (Linnaeus, 1758)


Notes: Nowadays a rare immigrant to the British Isles from continental Europe, with the majority of sightings from the south coast of England, although individuals do reach inland and there are several records from southern Ireland. Historically, it was far more common: the first record dates back as far as 1710, and was noticed in numbers in 1818 and thenceforth every year until 1885 - with a high of 50 records in 1872. However, since then there were only an additional 42 records up until the start of the Second World War. During the 1940s it had a resurgence with an additional 75 records but numbers thereafter again dropped off to a level of extreme rarity.

From the 1990s onwards numbers have been increasing, and a short-lived breeding colony was established in Suffolk during the late 1990s. 2007 saw a number of sightings across the south coast - including one in Hampshire - and in 2009 several individuals were seen near Chichester on the Sussex coast, with mating being seen at least once. As this was in the same locality as a sighting in 2007, it has been speculated that this may be evidence that a small colony is established in the area. However, while females have been seen ovipositing at times in the past, no larvae have been found on mainland Britain: the species is thought to be unable to survive British winters, but this may change as migrant numbers increase and climate change effects combine to make over-wintering more likely.

Wingspan 38-46 mm. Larva feeds on Wild Pansy and Field Pansy.

Flightime guide

Records Received By Year

% of total records
Max records: 5
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Percentage of Total Records

Total records
Max Percentage: 0.0024226448
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Phenology - Adult Records

Max records: 2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Distribution Map

Historical distribution at tetrad resolution
Click for density map

Record Density

As above but the larger the symbol, the greater the number of records
Click for distribution map

Detail records

VC10 Isle of Wight
Whitecliff Bay, IOW21/08/20131Adult
Mottistone Down23/09/19981Adult
VC11 South Hampshire
Old Winchester Hill14/06/20071Adult
Titchfield Haven15/08/20131Adult
Titchfield Haven16/08/20131Adult
Beaulieu Heath26/08/20131Adult
VC8 Wiltshire (Hants county)
Martin Down NNR02/08/19971Adult
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