Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathonia (Linnaeus, 1758)

Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Nymphalidae Status: Vagrant to Madeira


Medium sized, bright orange butterfly with distinctive roundish black spots on its uppersides and silver spots on its underside hind-wings. Sexes are indistinctive.

Issoria lathonia Caterpillars

The caterpillars are dark brown to black, covered with tiny white dots and rows of spikes along the back and sides.

Host & Food Plants

It normally feeds in violets from Viola genus.

Habitat & behaviour

It is unknown if Issoria lathonia breeds in Madeira but some years it is common to see it while in others it is an uncommon species (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006).
In Europe they are usually found in high altitude dry meadows and open environments.

Distribution in Atlantic Islands of Macaronesia:

Occurs in Madeira & Canary Islands (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006)


Regional status according to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2008: Migrant to Madeira
Regional status according to Wakeham-Dawson et al., 2001: Rare migrant
Status according to the European Red List of Butterflies, 2010: Least Concern

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