North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Washington

Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia)
JPG -- species photo

Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia [Boisduval])

Wing span: 1 1/2 - 2 3/8 inches (3.8 - 6.1 cm).

Identification: Small, with large rounded antennal clubs. Upperside tawny to orange-brown; male with no black scales on veins. Underside of hindwing orange-brown; base sometimes slightly darker or greenish. Spots are usually silvered.

Life history: Males patrol near the ground in open areas for females. Eggs are laid singly on leaf litter near host plants. Caterpillars hatch but do not feed, hibernating until spring when they eat the host leaves.

Flight: One flight from June-September.

Caterpillar hosts: Violets including Viola adunca, V. nuttallii, V. nephrophylla, and V. palustris.

Adult food: Nectar from a variety of flowers including goldenrod.

Habitat: Mountain meadows and fell-fields, moist prairie valleys, subarctic forest openings.

Range: Western mountains from southern Alaska south and east to Manitoba and the Dakotas; south to central California, eastern Nevada, southeastern Arizona, and northern New Mexico.

Conservation: Not usually of concern.

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:

Hinchliff, J. 1996. The Distribution of the Butterflies of Washington. 
     Evergreen Aurelians. Oregon State University Bookstore, Corvallis.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Pyle, R.M. 1974. Watching Washington Butterflies. Seattle Audubon Society, 
     Seattle, Wash.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo. 

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia)
distribution map
map legend

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