Identification of the male and female Dark Green Fritillary Butterfly

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These photographs of well marked male and female Dark Green Fritillary butterflies help show the differences between the sexes

The images were taken at the weekend at Porth Joke on the north coast of Cornwall near Newquay.

Several of these stunning butterflies were nectaring on the purple heads of Thistles on a south facing bank overlooking the beach.

The male Dark Green Fritillary (shown above) is slightly smaller than the female but more strikingly marked with the black forewing veining appearing bolder against a richer ocherous background.

The slightly larger female (seen right) comes across as a little washed out in comparison to the male and with noticeably paler edging around the edges of both forewings and hindwings.

Towards the end of their flight period when the colours have faded and the butterflies are looking worn identifying the sexes is not always so obvious.

Dark Green Fritillaries are also strong fliers and often only a brief glimpse is had of them battling the winds making identification of sex even more challenging!

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