Overview

Brief Summary

Boloria improba is a Holarctic nymphalid butterfly adapted to high latitude/montane habitats (arctic tundra and moist alpine meadows). In the New World, it is found in North-Eastern Alaska north-east through the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to Baffin Island, south to the Yukon Territories and northern British Columbia. There are also isolated relict populations in the central Canadian Rockies, southwest Wyoming, and southwest Colorado (Britten et al. 1991, 1992, Ferris 1984, 1986). In the old world, Boloria improba inhabits Northern Fennoscandia and the Chukotka Peninsula in North-East Siberia (Henriksen and Kreutzer 1982, Tuzov 2000, Välimäki et al. 2011, van Swaay et al. 2012).

Several subspecies of Boloria improba are recognized. Some authors (Britten et al. 1992, 1994, Ferris 1984, Gall 1984, Gall and Sperling 1980) consider the Colorado populations of Boloria improba to be a distinct species, Boloria acrocnema, while others (Pelham 2008, Scott 1986, Simonsen et al. 2010) treat it as a subspecies, Boloria improba acrocnema. Simonsen et al. (2010) suggest that the improba/acrocnema complex originated in the Nearctic and then dispersed to the Eastern and Central Palaearctic via the third Beringian land bridge (1.5 Mya–10 kya), which was dominated by barren tundra vegetation and thus provided a corridor for tundra-adapted species.

  • BRITTEN, H.B. & BRUSSARD, P.F. 1991. The Pleistocene history of the alpine butterfly Boloria improba (Nymphalidae). Research & Exploration 7(3), 366-367.
  • BRITTEN, H.B. & BRUSSARD, P.F. 1992. Genetic divergence and the Pleistocene history of the alpine butterflies Boloria improba (Nymphalidae) and the endangered Boloria acrocnema (Nymphalidae) in western North America. Canadian Journal of Zoology 70, 539–548.
  • BRITTEN, H.B., BRUSSARD, P.F. and MURPHY, D.D. 1994. The pending extinction of the Uncompahgre Fritillary Butterfly. Conservation Biology 8(1), 86–94. DOI: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.1994.08010086.x
  • FERRIS, C.D. 1984. Overview of Clossiana improba (Butler) in North America with a description of a new subspecies from Wyoming (Nymphalidae: Argynnini). Bulletin of the Allyn Museum 89, 1–7.
  • FERRIS, C.D. 1986. Field notes on Clossiana improba harryi Ferris (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 25, 71–72.
  • GALL, L.F. 1984. Population structure and recommendation for conservation of the narrowly endemic butterfly Boloria acrocnema (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Biological Conservation 28, 111–138.
  • GALL, L.F. and SPERLING, F.A.H. 1980. A new high altitude species of Boloria from southwestern Colorado (Nymphalidae), with a discussion of phenetics and hierarchical decisions [Boloria (Clossiana) acrocnema]. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(2), 230-252.
  • HENDRIKSEN, H.J. and KREUTZER, I. 1982. The Butterflies of Scandinavia in Nature. Skandinavisk Bogvorlag, Odense, 215 pp.
  • PELHAM, J.P. 2008. A catalogue of the butterflies of the United States and Canada – with a complete bibliography of the descriptive and systematic literature. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 40, i–xiv, 1–658.
  • SCOTT, J.A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford.
  • SIMONSEN, T.J., WAHLBERG, N., WARREN, A.D. AND SPERLING, F.A.H. 2010. The evolutionary history of Boloria (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae): phylogeny, zoogeography and larval–foodplant relationships. Systematics and Biodiversity 8(4):513-529. DOI:10.1080/14772000.2010.532833
  • VAN SWAAY, C., COLLINS, S., DUŠEJ, G., MAES, D., MUNGUIRA, M., RAKOSY, L., RYRHOLM, N., ŠAŠIĆ, M., SETTELE, J., THOMAS, J., VEROVNIK, R., VERSTRAEL, T., WARREN, M., WIEMERS, M., and WYNHOFF. I. 2012. Dos and Don’ts for butterflies of the Habitats Directive of the European Union. Nature Conservation 1, 73-153. DOI: 10.3897/natureconservation.1.2786
  • VÄLIMÄKI, P., MÄNNISTÖ, K., and KAITILA, J.-P. 2011. Katsaus Enontekiön uhanalaisiin tunturiperhoslajeihin ja tunturiperhosseurannan esiintymisaluehavaintoihin vuosina 2008–2011. [Threatened butterflies and moths in high fjelds of Le Enontekiö with special reference to observations during monitoring scheme of subarctic Lepidoptera 2008–2011]. Baptria 36, 70-90.
  • TUZOV, V.K., ed. 2000. Guide to the Butterflies of Russia and adjacent territories Volume 2. PENSOFT, Sofia - Moscow.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

Supplier: Katja Schulz

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

North American Ecology (US and Canada)

Boloria improba is a resident of far northern Canada; in the west it ranges as far south as mid-British Columbia. There are also two small independent populations in mountains of Colorado and Wyoming (Scott 1986). Habitats are Arctic/Alpine zone tundra, in moist places with a carpet of dwarf willow. Host plants are tiny herbaceous species from one genus, Salix (Salicaceae). Eggs are laid on the host plant singly. This species is biennial; individuals overwinter as newly hatched larvae the first winter, and as unfed fourth-stage larvae the second winter. There is one flight each year (even years in Alberta) with the approximate flight time late June-July31 (July15-early Aug in Colo; Aug1-15 in Wyo) (Scott 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Leslie Ries

Partner Web Site: North American Butterfly Knowledge Network

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 2.0 of 5

Comprehensive Description

General Description

The upperside is a smudged, brown and dull orange. The hindwing underside markings consist of a yellow-tan median band and pale whitish costal patch on purple-brown background. The small size and dull appearance distinguishes this species from other Boloria.  Our populations are subspecies nunatak (Scott 1998). 
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Alaska to Baffin Island, south to west-central Alberta. Isolated populations occur in Wyoming and Colorado. Also found in Scandinavia and Siberia (Scott 1986).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Holarctic. In North America, Alaska east to Baffin Island, south to British Columbia and central Alberta. Also occurs in Siberia. Subspecies HARRYI with a limited range in Wyoming and ACROCNEMA in Colorado.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Moist, willow-rich alpine tundra.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments: Alpine or tundra with nearly prostrate low willow. Dwarf willows serve as larval foodplant (genus Salix).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

The larval host plants are unreported in Alberta; Dwarf willows such as Salix reticulata nivalis are used in Colorado (Scott 1986). Adults nectar at Moss Campion (Silene acaulis) and yellow composites in Alberta (Bird et al. 1995).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Adults sometimes sip flower nectar, often get moisture by sipping from soil. Males patrol for females (Scott, 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Leslie Ries

Partner Web Site: North American Butterfly Knowledge Network

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Cyclicity

Biennial, flying during July of even-numbered years.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Cycle

The immature stages are undescribed. Colonies of this butterfly tend to be very localized, and adults have a weak, ground-hugging flight.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Clossiana improba

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Clossiana improba

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Boloria improba

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 17
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

Not of concern.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Degree of Threat: D : Unthreatened throughout its range, communities may be threatened in minor portions of the range or degree of variation falls within natural variation

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Global Protection: Many to very many (13 to >40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Denali National Park.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Boloria improba

The Dingy Fritillary (Boloria improba) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family. In Europe it is only found in small parts of Scandinavia, more specifically the border region between Norway, Sweden and Finland. The species is also present in North America in the North-Eastern part of Alaska and some isolated populations in the Canadian part of the Rocky Mountains, South-Western Wyoming and South-Western Colorado. In Russia it is present in the North-East (the Chukotka region).

The wingspan is 28–34 mm. The butterfly flies from June to August depending on the location.

The larvae probably feed on Polygonum viviparum in Europe. In North America the food plants are Salix arctica and Salix reticulata nivalis.

Subspecies[edit]

The following subspecies are recognised:

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Distinct species, but controversy about subspecific status of ssp. acrocnema, specifically whether it might be a separate species.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!