Cynthia's fritillary - Hypodryas cynthia

Male upperside.  

Family: Nymphalidae

Flight Time: June - August

Size: 32 - 42mm

Altitude: 900 - 3000m

A glorious Butterfly. The male is quite unique in it's silvery markings, while the female right, is somewhat dowdier. They generally occur at high altitudes, up towards the snow-line. Due to the severity of the conditions they take two years to complete their life-cycle, which results in good years and bad years in terms of numbers of adults flying. In Switzerland 1999 it was supposed to be a bad year, not too bad though! Female upperside.
Male underside.

Male underside.


Fact File

Similar Species Foodplants Habitat Distribution


Plantago alpina, Viola calcarata Open slopes

Cynthia's fritillary distribution.


Early Stages




All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.