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Melitaea aurelia Nickerl, 1850   

Name in Tolman & Lewington (1997): Mellicta aurelia
 

Range: Europe, W Asia.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Widespread, although local in much of the country from sea level to 1900 m. This is a very variable species which frequently shows characters supposedly defining the similar M. britomartis, such as a darker-brown marginal field on the hindwing underside or a darker upperside. In reality there is no certain way to distinguish aurelia and britomartis without examining the male genitalia, which differ clearly and constantly. This means that many records of "aurelia", particularly from the lowlands of W, N and E Bulgaria, need verification (see also under M. britomartis).

Habitat: Dry grassy or flowery glades, meadows, mountain slopes etc., most common on calcareous substrate.

Bionomics: One prolonged generation from June till August. Larval host-plant: Plantago lanceolata (Tolman & Lewington 1997).

Conservation status: Of no concern. IUCN category: Lower risk, least concern. Listed in The Red Data Book of European Butterflies as Vulnerable.

 

 
 
 

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