North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Virginia

Diana (Speyeria diana)
JPG -- species photo

Diana (Speyeria diana [Cramer])

Wing span: 3 7/16 - 4 7/16 inches (8.7 - 11.3 cm).

Identification: Large. Upperside of male wings black at base, orange at outer portions; female black with blue on outer part of hindwing. Underside without typical Speyeria spot pattern.

Life history: Males patrol for females in deep woods. Females walk along the ground laying single eggs on dead twigs and leaves near violets. The caterpillars hatch and overwinter without feeding. In the spring they feed on leaves and flowers of violets.

Flight: One flight from mid-June to early September.

Caterpillar hosts: Violets (Viola species).

Adult food: Dung and flower nectar from plants including common and swamp milkweeds, ironweed, red clover, and butterflybush.

Habitat: Fields, edges, and openings in moist, rich, forested mountains and valleys.

Range: Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas; southern Appalachians from central Virginia and West Virginia through the mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama.

Conservation: This species is extirpated from some former locations.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).

Management needs: All populations should be monitored and those habitats on public lands and preserves should be protected.


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.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Glassberg,  J.  1993.  Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to 
     Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region.  Oxford Univ. Press, 
     New York, N.Y.  160 pp.    

Clark, A.H. and Clark, L.F. 1951.  The Butterflies of Virginia.  Smithsonian
     Miscellaneous collection No. 116:1-239.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     

Woodbury, E.N.  1994.  Butterflies of Delmarva.  Delaware Nature Society, Inc., 
     Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD.  138 pp.  [NOTE: this book only 
     treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea).  It does not treat Skippers 
Diana (Speyeria diana)
distribution map
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