E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Boloria frigga Reuss, 1920
Frigga Fritillary; Lesser Fritillaries
Family: Nymphalidae (Brushfoots)
Species account authors: Crispin Guppy and Jon Shepard.
Extracted from Butterflies of British Columbia
The Families of Lepidoptera of BC
Introduction to the Butterflies of BC
Photo of species

© Norbert Kondla  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4912)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Boloria frigga in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information


The Frigga Fritillary is close in general appearance to C. bellona, C. epithore, and C. improba. It is closest to C. improba but twice as large. The Frigga Fritillary has a large basal rectangular white area on the ventral hindwing that is not found on C. epithore.

Immature Stages



BC populations are the Saga Fritillary, C.f. saga (Staudinger, 1861) (TL: Labrador), a widespread boreal subspecies.

Genus Description

Reuss (1922) stated that he named the genus Clossiana for the recognized entomologist Herr Adolf G. Closs, but it appears that Closs was only a minor worker on Lepidoptera. The common name "lesser fritillaries" refers to the small size compared with Speyeria.

Under the restricted generic usage of Boloria, we state why we recognize the genus Clossiana and define the genus. On the upperside, the wings are very similar to those of Speyeria. Some males of one species of Speyeria, S. mormonia, are as small as the largest females of our largest Clossiana, C. tritonia. Only one species, Clossiana selene, has silver spots on the ventral hindwing. This genus is Holarctic, with at least 21 species; 13 are found in North America and 12 of these occur in BC. Nine BC species are Holarctic. The 4 temperate species, 3 in BC, feed on violets (Viola) but the northern species do not. There has been much confusion in the literature regarding larval foodplants, and we discuss only those verified by Shepard (1975) and later.


The Frigga Fritillary is the second of the four species to emerge in boreal habitat. The flight period is from late May to late July in one generation, with peak flight in mid-June. The hibernation stage is late instar larvae. Shepard (1975) reared the species on willows (Salix) in Alberta. In Europe the species feeds on Rubus.


The Frigga Fritillary occurs rarely throughout most of BC east of the Cascade and Coast mountains. It occurs in the same habitat as the Bog Fritillary but not at as many sites. These two species, along with the Freija Fritillary and the Arctic Fritillary, are found together across boreal Canada.



The Frigga Fritillary is found throughout AK except the southern rain forest habitat, and from BC across boreal and subarctic CAN to western Labrador and south to MN. In the west there are disjunct populations in WY and CO. The species is Holarctic, occurring in Scandinavia and across Russia except the southwest and Kamchatka.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Clossiana frigga (Thunberg, 1791)

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-07-17 10:05:38 PM]
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