New Jersey Butterflies

Meadow Fritillary

Boloria bellona

Identification: Small—1.6" (between size of Pearl Crescent and American Lady). Above: FW and HW bright orange with many distinct, black marks; little black along outer margins. FW tip somewhat squared-off. Below: Mottled orange, yellow, and violet.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Locally common in Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, and Monmouth counties; less common and more local in the southern counties. Abundance fluctuates considerably. Formerly more widespread.

NJ Range Map-Meadow Fritillary

Habitat: Open, sunny, uplands and wetlands with abundant wildflowers such as thistles and mints. Often found in hayfields. Does not appear to nectar as often as the larger fritillaries. Rarely reported from gardens probably owing to very local distribution.

Flight Period: Three broods from mid-April to mid-October, with peak flight times in May, early summer, and late summer. Timing of adult emergence varies slightly among years and locations. Extreme dates: North Jersey 4/16—10/18; South Jersey 6/4—9/30.

Larval Food Plants: Violets (Viola).

Overwintering Stage: Larva.

Best Locations: White Lake NRA, Wallkill River NWR, Flatbrook-Roy WMA.

Comments: An estimated 750! frequented a small hayfield in Sussex County in 2012, and more than 100 have been seen in a wet meadow at the White Lake Natural Resource Area in Warren County.

Meadow Fritillary

Walpack, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/14/10.

Meadow Fritillary

Flatbrook-Roy WMA, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/18/10, on Birdsfoot Trefoil.