Variegated Fritillary

Euptoieta claudia

Summary 5

The Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) is a North and South American butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Even though the Variegated Fritillary has some very different characteristics from the Speyeria Fritillaries, it is still closely related to them. Some of the differences are: Variegated Fritillaries have 2–3 broods per year vs. one per year in Speyeria; they are nomadic vs. sedentary; and they use a wide range of host plants vs. just violets. Variegated Fritillaries use passionflowers as a host plant, they also have taxonomic links to the heliconiines. Their flight is low and swift, but even when resting or nectaring, this species is extremely difficult to approach, and, because of this, its genus name was taken from the Greek word euptoietos meaning "easily scared".There are no Speyeria in Florida.

Description 5

For a key to the terms used see Lepidopteran glossary.

The upper side of the wings is checkered with orange and black. Both the fore wing and hind wing have a row of submarginal black spots and black median lines running across the wings. The underside of the fore wing is orange with a pale orange spot rimmed in black in the fore wing cell. The underside of the hind wing is mottled with browns and grays with a pale postmedian band. There is no silvering. The wingspan measures 1.75–2.25 inches.

Larval Description 6

Mature larvae are reddish with black and white lateral stripes and black verrucae (Fig. 4).

Larval host plant 7

A variety of plants in several families including maypops (Passiflora incarnata), may apple (Podophyllum peltata), violets (Viola), purslane (Portulaca), stonecrop (Sedum), and moonseed (Menispermum).

GTM Occurrence 7

The Variegated Fritillary is considered rare in the GTM. This species has most often been observed in the open habitat of Transect A and along the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B). It has been recorded most often in the spring from March to May and a single observation in August. There have been 6 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 8

Global Range: Southern California east to Florida and the Southern plains. Periodically emigrates as far north as the Northwest Territories. Also occurs southward to Argentina.

Habitat 9

This butterfly is often found in open, disturbed habitats such as clover and alfalfa fields, pastures, fields, waste areas, roadsides, and mountain meadows.

Virtually any open to sparsely treed habitat. A stray or opportunistic transient breeder in most of US and entire Canadian range.

Nature serve conservation status 10

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread and abundant; tolerates disturbance.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Ken Slade, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  2. (c) John Flannery, some rights reserved (CC BY-ND),
  3. (c) John Flannery, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  4. (c) John Flannery, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  5. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  6. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) University of Alberta Museums, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  7. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  8. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  9. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  10. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

More Info

iNat Map

Category name rare
Member of the iNaturalist Network   |   Powered by iNaturalist open source software |   Documentation for developers