- any of several orange-brown nymphalid butterflies, usually marked with black lines and dots and with silvery spots on the undersides of the wings.
Origin of fritillary
Examples from the Web for fritillary
All the little woods and copses by the road side abounded with Butterflies of the Fritillary tribe, without silver spots.
A small Papilio, of the fritillary tribe, with one silver mark underneath of the form of a shield.
The Latin name for a dice-box has survived in the fritillary butterfly and flower.
Fritillary, frit′il-lar-i, n. a genus of plants of the order Liliace, with drooping purple flowers: a species of butterfly.
The Danaid is a low-country insect, while the Fritillary is not found until several thousand feet up.Mimicry in Butterflies
Reginald Crundall Punnett
- any N temperate liliaceous plant of the genus Fritillaria, having purple or white drooping bell-shaped flowers, typically marked in a chequered patternSee also snake's head
- any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genera Argynnis, Boloria, etc, having brownish wings chequered with black and silver
Word Origin and History for fritillary
type of butterfly, 1857, earlier a type of plant (Fritillaria Meleagris, 1633), from Latin fritillus "dice-box," from fritinnire "to twitter," imitative of the rattle of dice. The butterfly so called perhaps from resemblance of its markings to those of dice; or the names may have been given in confusion, perhaps on the notion that fritillus meant "chessboard."