Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia [Cramer])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 3 1/8 inches (4.5 - 8 cm).
Identification: Upperside tawny orange with thick dark veins and markings; black spots near margin. Hindwing margin angled and slightly scalloped. Underside of hindwing with a mottled pattern and no silver spots.
Life history: Males patrol short distances in flat, dry, open places. Eggs are laid singly on host plant stems and leaves; caterpillars eat leaves and flowers.
Flight: Three broods from April-October in the north, four broods from February or March-November or December in the south.
Caterpillar hosts: A variety of plants in several families including maypops (Passiflora incarnata), may apple (Podophyllum peltata), violets (Viola), purslane (Portulaca), stonecrop (Sedum), and moonseed (Menispermum).
Adult food: Nectar from several plant species including butterflyweed, common milkweed, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, swamp milkweed, and tickseed sunflower.
Habitat: Open sunny areas such as prairies, fields, pastures, road edges, landfills.
Range: Higher elevations of Argentina through Central America and Mexico to the southern United States; also Cuba and Jamaica. Regularly colonizes north through most of the United States except the Pacific Northwest.
Conservation: Not required. An occasional minor pest of ornamental pansies and violets.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.