Silver-washed Fritillary

Argynnis paphia

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Butterflies and moths
  4. Silver-washed Fritillary


The Silver-washed Fritillary is a large, pale orange butterfly, so-named for the silver streaks on its underside. Adults are on the wing throughout the summer from late June to the end of August. They live in large broad-leaved woodlands (especially Oak woodlands), and feed on flowers such as Bramble in sunny glades and rides. The caterpillars feed on violets, particularly Common Dog-violet.

How to identify

The Silver-washed Fritillary is pale orange with an intricate pattern of black spots and lines on the upper wings. The underside of the rear wing is washed lime green and pink, with silvery streaks running across it. Fritillaries are one of the trickier groups of butterflies to identify; the Silver-washed Fritillary can be distinguished from the other large fritillaries by the pattern on its underside. The male also has four, very broad, black stripes across the forewings.

Where to find it

Found in woodlands in southern England.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

The Silver-washed Fritillary suffered declines in the 20th century but has been spreading in recent years. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices that benefit butterflies and other wildlife. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Local information

Part of the BBOWT Bernwood Forest project involves managing woodland rides and paths to encourage butterflies, such as the silver-washed fritillary, by creating a range of habitats with corridors to link them. Within the project area you might see these butterflies in Finemere Wood and Rushbeds Wood. To get involved in this project, join one of the local BBOWT work parties. Other BBOWT nature reserves where you might see silver-washed fritillaries include Bowdown Woods, Warburg Nature Reserve and Homefield Wood. You can encourage other butterfly species into your own garden by planting nectar-rich plants.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Silver-washed Fritillary
Latin name
Argynnis paphia
Butterflies and moths
Wingspan: 6.9-8cm
Conservation status