High Brown Fritillary


South Cumbria with its limestone grasslands and limestone woodland around Morecambe Bay are now the national stronghold for this species. The High Brown Fritillary (HBF) is now a very challenging species to locate for butterfly enthusiasts all over the UK. It can be mistaken for the more common Dark Green Fritillary which flies at the same time and is often found in the same habitats. In Cumbria the males of both species are very similar but the females of the Dark Green tend to be more like the Scottish sub species when freshly emerged with a distinctive black and white check effect around the outer wings. That is not always the case however and the best way of identification is to look at the more distinctive under sides. It has been recently thought the High Brown may have been over recorded on transects by applying percentages when a positive identification between High Brown and Dark Green was not possible or by less experienced recorders. It could therefore be that the High Brown is more scarce than we previously imagined.

Where to look

Broadleaved woodlands with wide rides and canopy breaks, and also grassy limestone hillsides with some bracken. Look on bramble flowers, thistles and knapweed. Good sites are Arnside Knott, SD455774: Barkbooth Lot, SD416907 and numerous sites around Whitbarrow such as Howe Ridding Wood, SD435876 and The Howe, SD454884.

Record distribution, frequency, locations and images.

When to look

Flight period is usually last week in June to the end of July.

Recorded flight times.