Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Dark Green Fritillary - Take 2

Walking back from the Co-op yesterday I found this dead Dark Green Fritillary on the pavement and took it home to examine more closely. Then I saw Malcolm's post on this blog and thought I'd add a photo of the underside of this fritillary. I still tend to think it's not very well-named, but you can see the green sheen on its hindwing which gives it its vernacular name.
We have a great book in the library which tells you all about the origin of the scientific names of butterflies, so here we go:
Argynnis aglaja
Argynnus was a lady beloved by Agammemnon who erected a temple in her honour where Aphrodite (Venus) was worshipped; thus Argynnis came to be used as an epithet of Aphrodite and Fabricius used the name as a family name for the larger fritillaries. Fond of word play, Fabricius is probably punning on 'arguros' (silver), with reference to the silvery underside markings of these butterflies.
Aglaja was one of the three Graces who personified elegance and beauty.
So, there you go!

Dark Green Fritillary - Argynnis aglaja

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