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Melitaea cinxia

Melitaea cinxia
Photo Information
Copyright: Livio Carroccia (livius) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 300 W: 0 N: 391] (1525)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-05-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D50 Digital SLR, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO
Exposure: f/11, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-08-04 3:33
Viewed: 4258
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 68
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Papilionoidea
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Melitaea
Species: M. cinxia
Binomial name
Melitaea cinxia
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family.
The animal spends most of its life as a black, spiny caterpillar. The orange patterned butterfly lives only a few weeks.
The Glanville Fritillary inhabits open grassland throughout Europe (except much of Great Britain, Scandinavia, and southern Spain) and temperate Asia. A subspecies inhabits North Africa. Severe population declines are reported in many European countries.

Life cycle
The Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) is a medium sized orange, black and white "checkerspot" butterfly inhabiting open meadows. The males patrol along roads and habitat edges, on the lookout for the less conspicuous females which remain in dense tussocks for long periods. Mating occurs around mid-day, and as the female often continues to fly from flower to flower, mating pairs are conspicuous.
Throughout most of their range they have one generation per year, overwintering as larvae. In warm regions they have two generations per year. In her lifetime, a female lays several clusters of up to 200 eggs on the underside of the larval food plant. She feeds on nectar (with her proboscis) from surrounding flowering plants. The larvae feed on several species of plants in the genera Plantago and Veronica. They live in gregarious family groups in characteristic silken webs ("nests") throughout most of their larval stage. When alarmed, a feeding group of Glanville Fritillary larvae will jerk their heads in unison, probably to distract their enemies.
Through the winter (or summer where it is very dry), the caterpillars stop feeding and lie dormant until spring (or fall, where the summer is dry) when they resume eating, and eventually pupate. The inconspicuous pupa hangs from a plant stem or lies in the leaf litter for 2 to 3 weeks, until the next generation of adults emerges, living for only up to three weeks.

Glanville Fritillaries in the UK
In the UK the Glanville Fritillary occurs only on soft undercliff and chine grassland and the slopes above where its main larval foodplant Plantago lanceolata occurs in abundance on sheltered, south facing slopes. The Glanville Fritillary is a highly restricted species in the UK being confined to the south coast of the Isle of Wight. It also occurs in the Channel Islands and since 1990 there has been a mainland site on the Hampshire coast, possibly an introduction. There is a small introduced population on the Somerset coast.
Historic UK records suggest a distribution which went as far north as Lincolnshire. However, by the middle of the 19th century the Glanville Fritillary was known only from the Isle of Wight and the coast of Kent between Folkestone and Sandwich. It became extinct in Kent by the mid 1860s.

Origin of Name
The Glanville Fritillary is named for Lady Eleanor Glanville, an eccentric 18th century English butterfly enthusiast – a very unusual occupation for a woman at that time. She was the first to capture British specimens in Lincolnshire during the 1690s. A contemporary wrote:
This fly took its name from the ingenious Lady Glanvil, whose memory had like to have suffered for her curiosity. Some relations that was disappointed by her Will, attempted to let it aside by Acts of Lunacy, for they suggested that none but those who were deprived of their senses, would go in Pursuit of butterflies. Moses Harris, 1776

Genere e specie Melitaea cinxia

Famiglia Ninfalidi (Nymphalidae)
Nome comune Cinzia
Dimensioni Farfalla di circa 35-50 mm di apertura alare.
Caratteristiche morfologica Con ali di colore ocra-arancio, variegate e punteggiate di nero.

Generazioni annuali
Compie 1 generazione all’anno con sfarfallamento in maggio-giugno. Sverna come larva.

Distribuzione - habitat
È diffusa in tutta l’Italia ad esclusione della Sardegna e dell'Isola d'Elba. Frequenta i prati dalla pianura alla montagna fino oltre i 2000 m di quota.

Piante nutrici
Il bruco vive su diverse piante erbacee, tra cui Piantaggine, Fiordalisi, Veronica, Achillea.

flashpoint, maurydv, KOMSIS, cirano, parasbhalla, goatman04, uleko, horias, boreocypriensis, goldyrs, Dis. Ac., peter_stoeckl, siggi, anel, techranger, tuslaw, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

ciao Livio!
cattura di gran classe della Melitaea cinxia ..mi piace la presa diagonale e
l'ottima definizione con la luce gestita in modo perfetto..

buone ferie sERGIO

Ciao Livio,
fantastica immagine di Cinzia, ottimo punto di ripresa con una straordinaria luminosità dei colori ed una eccellente definizione che mette in risalto le caratteristiche di questa splendida farfalla, bellissime ambientazione e composizione.
Grazie e complimenti
Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-08-04 5:07]

Ciao Livio!
A fine capture of a fresh specimen of Melitaea cinxia taken from a good POV to show its closed wings with excellent sharpness, colours and lighting in pleasing composition on the flowering grass head.
Thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-08-04 6:15]

Ciao Livio,
Very good macro...
Very beautiful photo with excellent sharp focus.
best wishes,

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-08-04 6:26]

Slav Lîvîo,
This is first class macro shot.Wonderful sharpness,details and splendid colors.Very well composed.Thanks for sharing.

Hello Livio,

Great macro shot of the Glanville Fritillary butterfly!
The eyes of the butterfly are perfectly shown and so are the textures on the wings of the butterfly. Nice control on sharpness and POV with great DOF. I like the blurred greenish BG. Great job!

Thanks for sharing.

best greetings,
Paras Bhalla

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-08-04 6:44]

Ciao Livio,accidenti che magnifico esemplare e che splendida composizione con le spighe! Una foto di grandissima professionalita' e classe,splendida anche l'angolazione della luce e i colori saturati come meglio non si possa.Complimenti,bravissimo!Buona giornata,LUCIANO

Hello Livio,

This is an excellent capture with brilliant colors, sharness & fine details. Nicely done & TFS.



  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2009-08-04 7:27]

Very nice colors and details!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-08-04 10:23]

Hello Livio,
A very fine composition in beautiful colours showing M.cinxia sharply against the pastel green background. I love it!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

Ciao Livio,
Excellent capture with fine details and beautiful composition. Very nice natural colours. Best regards,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-08-04 11:24]


Ciao amico Livio, a perfect macro capture of this beauty from lateral POV with excellent clarity and fine composition.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-08-05 6:12]

Fine composition and great lighting for this image. Beautiful colors and details too. tfs.

Thanks for your kind words on my new picture, Livio.
I'm obliged.
This is a fantastic image of a beautiful butterfly. The image is perfect in every respect. I love the colours and composition here.
TFS and regards.

Buena luz y una saturación en un punto que le da elegancia. Precioso conjunto.
Un saludo: Josep Ignasi.

hello Livio
wauw this is a super composition with good details and beautiful colours and good BG.
greeting lou

Hello Livio
Excellent shot of this glanville Fritillary, the sharpness is superb
I like the textural details of his wings, the wonderful light, his pose on the grass and the amazing colors
Have a good night

Long since I heard from you, Livio and this is a very pleasant surprise, my friend.
This macro is very well focussed and beautifully composed.

Hi Livio,
a very clear and precise, beautifully lighted, intensely coloured, elegantly well composed portrait of M. cinxia, first class presentation, excellent work. Thank you!
With best regards,

Hi Livius,

an pretty picture from this butterfly.
Good pov and fine colours.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-08-11 23:46]

Hello Livio,
Very good capture.The DOF is excellent.Nice lighting and good exposure. I like the composition .TFS.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-08-14 4:44]

Bonjour Livio,
Une image très belle pour nous présenter ce beau papillon du genre Melitaea.
J'aime beaucoup le fait qu'il se tienne sur des petites tiges parallèles et de différentes couleurs. La netteté est aussi très bonne. Du beau travail!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2009-08-21 2:55]

Hi Livio,
fantastic setting for this beautifully marked butterfly. the grasses and light add something extra special to this shot, well done.

ciao Livio,
che spettacolo di foto, molto bella la farfalla con colori nitidi e brillanti, ma ciò che fa la differenza, a mio parere, sono anche le linee disegnate dalle erbe che si intrecciano e creano un gioco magico di geometria

Ciao Livio, macro di gran levatura, ottima composizione, magnifica luce e splendidi colori naturali, tra le tue migliori, bravissimo, ciao Silvio

An absolutely gorgeous shot Livio... composition, detail, POV, DOF, BG, lighting... all extremely well done... :)


Ciao Livio. Il gran dettaglio, la composizione, la luce e i colori naturali unitamante all'effetto grafico delle spighe ne fanno uma macro raffinata e composta divinamante.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-09-05 19:51]

Hello Livio,
Super sharp detail and gorgeous colors describes this exceptional image. Love the blurred BG. and the exposure is right on the money. TFS.

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-09-07 6:21]

Ciao Livio,

Excellent picture with good light and excellent colours. You have make a beautiful composition! Congratulation!



perfect sharp shot

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2009-10-12 0:10]

Hi Livio,
Outstanding shot of this cute looking and colourful butterfly. Very neat and sharp image with perfect lighting and DOF. The composition is superb. Kudos.

Kodiang 2009

Hi Livio. Superbly exposed capture of this beauty with fine markings on the wings. Lovely sharp details in very good frameng. Nicely done and thanks for sharing. Regards.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-10-29 4:58]

Hi Livio,
your butterfly shots are really outstanding. The colours are well rendered and the lighting is so good. you have shown every details and the view is full of impact.
Congratulations for these excellent capture.


great clear and sharp pic, TFS Ori

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