Meadow Fritillary

Boloria bellona

The Meadow Fritillary is common butterfly throughout Wisconsin. In central Wisconsin I see this species often in barren habitat, with American Coppers. This species seems to like alighting on very light areas, and I have a numerous photos of this species sunning itself on dried grasses or reindeer moss like in the second photo.

Weekly sightings for Meadow Fritillary

Identifying characteristics

Above, this species is completely orange with black markings. Below the hindwing is very distinctive with a light, purplish hoariness over the outer half of this wing. Usually there are no distinct light areas near the leading edge of the wings, but occasionally there is a light area near the body on the leading edge of the hind wing.

Similar species

This species is most likely to be confused with the Frigga Fritillary because of the similar purplish sheen over the outer half of the hindwing below. The Frigga always has a light area by the leading edge and has lighter cells in the middle of the hindwing below. Above, the Frigga Fritillary is noticeably darker toward the body, while the Meadow still shows a lot of orange.


Wet to dry meadows.


Two broods. This species can be found from early May through September. In Michigan this species has been seen on October 6.


Found throughout the state. This species may be fairly common in an area, but usually they are seen singly. I have seen over 80 of these butterflies in a single day.

Late Meadow Fritillary Sightings

Date County Reported by
Sep 25, 2014 Crawford Armund Bartz
Sep 27, 2014 Sauk Alex Harmon
Sep 28, 2013 Grant Alex Harmon
Oct 2, 2011 Vernon Daniel Jackson
Oct 2, 2013 Dane Dan Sonnenberg and 5 o...


Map showing sighting locations for Meadow Fritillary
Map key
Meadow FritillaryClick to enlarge

Germania Marsh, Marquette Co., WI, June 29, 2005.

Meadow FritillaryClick to enlarge

North of Mount Morris, Waushara Co., WI, August 21, 2002.

Meadow FritillaryClick to enlarge

East of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI, May 15, 2005.

Meadow FritillaryClick to enlarge

Germania Marsh, Marquette Co., WI, June 29, 2005.