Freija Fritillary

Boloria freija

This species and the Frigga Fritillary are spring species of the northernmost counties in Wisconsin and are typically found in large open muskeg areas. It can often be found on sunny but still-cold spring days, when most people would not even think of looking for butterflies.

Because of the Freija Fritillary’s limited distribution in Wisconsin, its difficult to navigate habitat type, the unpredictable spring weather likely during its flight, and its short flight periods, this species is seldom seen in Wisconsin.

Weekly sightings for Freija Fritillary

Identifying characteristics

Above, the Freija Fritillary is orange with various black markings, with very dark areas near the body. The color below is mainly tawny with distinct white horizontal spots on the wing margins and a very obvious median line of white crescents capped with black on the hind wing, giving the appearance of very zigzagy lines.

Similar species

In flight, all of the lesser fritillaries are very similar. From above, the Freija Fritillary is most likely to be confused with Frigga Fritillary, which is found in similar habitats, whose flight period usually overlaps that of the Freija Fritillary, and also is very dark near the body. Below, these two species are easily distinguished, as the Frigga Fritillary has a pale hoary like coating over the outer half of the hind wing, similar to the Meadow Fritillary, while the Freija lacks this and has horizontal white lines along the wing margins.

Habitat

Open bogs in northern Wisconsin.

Flight

One brood. The Freija Fritillary is one of the earliest of the lesser fritillaries. This species has been recorded on the first day in May in Wisconsin, but most often is seen flying sometime in the last two weeks of May. The flight time varies but is usually only a few weeks in any location.

Abundance

An uncommon butterfly that is seldom observed and is rarely abundant even where found in Wisconsin.

Late Freija Fritillary Sightings

Date County Reported by
Jun 5, 2014 Douglas Scott and Ann Swengel
Jun 6, 2014 Iron Scott and Ann Swengel
Jun 6, 2014 Price Scott and Ann Swengel
Jun 9, 2017 Iron Ryan Brady
Jun 12, 2016 Douglas Scott and Ann Swengel

Locations

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

Riley Lake Area, Price Co., WI. May 24, 2008.

Freija FritillaryClick to enlarge

Riley Lake Area, Price Co., WI. May 24, 2008.

Freija FritillaryClick to enlarge

Riley Lake Area, Price Co., WI. May 24, 2008.