Knapweed Fritillaries

I’m in a field in the south of Italy. A butterfly has settled in front of me:

Knapweed Fritillary - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I know it’s a fritillary. I have no idea which one. To the uninitiated they all look the same. I’m the uninitiated:

I check my favourite Butterflies in Italy website and find the following list:

Fritillary, Asian, Hypodryas intermedia
Fritillary, Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
Fritillary, Dark Green, Argynnis aglaja
Fritillary, False Heath, Melitaea diamina
Fritillary, Glanville, Melitaea cinxia
Fritillary, Grison’s, Mellicta varia
Fritillary, Heath, Mellicta athalia
Fritillary, High Brown, Argynnis adippe
Fritillary, Knapweed, Melitaea phoebe
Fritillary, Lesser Marbled, Brenthis ino
Fritillary, Marbled, Brenthis daphne
Fritillary, Marsh, Eurodryas aurinia
Fritillary, Mountain, Boloria napaea
Fritillary, Niobe, Argynnis niobe
Fritillary, Pearl-bordered, Clossiana euphrosyne
Fritillary, Queen of Spain, Issoria lathonia
Fritillary, Shepherd’s, Boloria pales
Fritillary, Silver-washed, Argynnis paphia
Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered, Clossiana selene

It’s quite likely to be one which doesn’t occur very often in the UK. I love the handlebar antennae:

Knapweed Fritillary - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And what must it be like to have a tongue as big as your legs?

Back home I’m told it’s a Knapweed Fritillary, Melitaea phoebe.

I hope you enjoy my photographs of a lovely moment.

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