Marsh Fritillary Butterfly, Fauna in Co. Mayo

This beautiful butterfly is found in and around wet grassland and bogs.

The eggs are yellow and can be seen on the underside of leaves of their foodplants in May and June.

The larvae or caterpillars are black and immediately after hatching (end of June) spin a fine silken web, they grow slowly and eat only during the warm hours of the day; they go in hibernation in August or September.

After the winter at mid April pupae form within grass, tussocks and dead leaves. The butterflies fly from June until July.

The adults live in small populations and take nectar from a variety of flowers such as milkworts, orchids buttercups and thistle.

The Marsh Fritillary can be seen around Lough Carra and in north Mayo. It is listed in Annex II (List of species for which conservation requires Special Areas of Conservation designation under the EU Habitats Directive).

Its scientific name is Euphydryas aurinia and the Irish one is Fritileàn Rèisc.