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White Mountain Fritillary Butterfly
(Boloria chariclea montinus)

White Mountain Fritillary

White Mountain fritillary nectaring on goldenrod.

Photo by Samantha Derrenbacher.

 

White Mountain Fritillary

Hind wing pattern helps to identify the species from other fritillaries in the alpine zone.

Photo by Samantha Derrenbacher.

 

White Mountain Fritillary

Snowbank community where adult butterflies are frequently found.

Photo by Samantha Derrenbacher.

 

White Mountain Fritillary

Caterpillar that just hatched in the captive rearing laboratory.

Photo by Samantha Derrenbacher.

NH Conservation Status: Endangered

 

Federal Status: To Be Determined

 

Distribution: Restricted to the alpine zone in the Presidential Range of the White Mountain National Forest

 

Description: Approximate 4cm wing span. Both males and females have similar coloration. The upper sides of wings are orange and black patterned with a black edge and white outer fringe. The underside of the wings is orange with white and black patterns and white fringes.

 

Commonly Confused Species: The Atlantis Fritillary is commonly confused with the White Mountain Fritillary and can be found on similar nectar sources in the mountains. The Atlantis Fritillary is significantly bigger with a wingspan of 2 to 2 3/4 inches and the underside of the wing is brown with silvery spots.

 

Habitat: B. c. montinus  lives in the alpine zone of the White Mountain National Forest.  The host plant during the catperpillar stage is currently unknown.  The species appears to be associated with snowbank communities, streams and other wet areas.  Adults have been observed nectaring on Cutler’s goldenrod (Solidago leiocarpa), big-leaved goldenrod (Solidago macrophylla), white meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia) and Boott’s Rattlesnake-root (Nabalus boottii).

 

Life History: the life history of B. c. montinus is unknown, but Fish and Game employees are current working on finding some answers. Adults are in flight from mid-July to mid-September. Larvae hatch from eggs in August and overwinter, possibly twice, once as larvae and again as pupae.

 

Current Project: NH Fish and Game is working to determine the host plant of the White Mountain Fritillary by establishing a captive colony for research.  Population surveys and habitat mapping is also being conducted to assist US Fish and Wildlife Service with a Species Status Assessment.

 

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