variegated fritillary

(Euptoieta claudia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

variegated fritillary

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Rare

Flight/Season

Two or three broods; mid-June to mid-September

Habitat

Open fields, meadows, roadsides

Size

1¾ to 2½ wingspan

Photo by Dave Jungst

Identification

This is a medium-sized, migratory, fritillary butterfly. The wingspan is 1¾ to 2½. Females can be much larger than males.

The upper side of both wings are orange with dark brown bands and spots. On the outer margin there is a band (marginal band) of orange spots that have dark borders and are separated by heavy, dark veins. All of the spots are pale and distinct, even at the wing tip. There is an orange submarginal band with dark, round spots, and a pale orange median band with no spots. The veins in the submarginal band, median band, and base are dark and thin.

The base of the forewing is reddish-orange. The outer edge has a thick, black border. There is a pale orange spot near the center with a thick, black border. There are two black chevrons closer to the body. The base of the hindwing is reddish-orange with some thin black markings.

The underside of the hindwing is brown with thin, white veins; a wide, pale, postmedian band; a pale marginal band; and no conspicuous pale spots. The underside of the forewing is pale orange with a reddish orange base, black markings, and a pale orange spot rimmed in black in the forewing cell.

The caterpillar is orangish-red, shiny, and up to 2 long. Each abdominal segment has a white, footprint-shaped spot at the middle of the upper (dorsal) surface. On each side of each segment there is a dorsal row, subdorsal row, and spiracular row of black with white spots. Each of these rows has a single, branched, spike-like projection (scolus). There are two longer scoli on the prothorax that project well forward of the head. The scoli are black with an iridescent, purplish-blue reflection.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Violet (Viola spp.), flax (Linum spp.), plantain (Plantago spp.), Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense), and May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum).

 
Adult Food

Nectar of dogbane (Apocynum spp.), milkweed (Asclepias spp.), aster (Symphyotrichum spp.), beggarticks (Bidens spp.), thistle (Cirsium spp.), narrow-leaved purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia var. angustifolia), fleabane (Erigeron spp.), boneset (Eupatorium spp.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa), red clover (Trifolium pratense), ironweed (Vernonia spp.), Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium spp.), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and bog Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum).

 
Life Cycle

Adults migrate from the south, first appearing in Minnesota around mid-June. The female lays pale green or cream colored eggs singly on the leaves and stems of host plants. The larvae eat the leaves, stems, and flowers of host plants. There are usually two broods per year, sometimes three.

Adults migrate south in the fall. They overwinter as caterpillars and possibly also as adults in frost-free areas.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 71.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])

 

Family:

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)

 

Subfamily:

Heliconiinae (longwings, fritillaries and silverspots)

 

Tribe:

Argynnini

 

Subtribe:

Euptoietina

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

variegated fritillary


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

prothorax

The first (forward) segment of the thorax on an insect, bearing the first pair of legs but not wings.

 

scolus

A spiny, branched projection from a larval body wall, the branches terminating with a single stiff, hair-like or bristle-like tip.

 

spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Dave Jungst


At Glacial Lakes State Park

  variegated fritillary    

       
       
       

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Slideshows

   
  Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
Bill Keim
 
  Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)  
     
  Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary)
Allen Chartier
 
  Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary)  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  IMG_0745.MOV
Walter Sanford
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 12, 2011

A short video clip of a Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

 
     
  Variegated fritillary caterpillar
Bug of the Week
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 8, 2012

This "hungry, hungry caterpillar," the larval stage of the Variegated Fritillary butterfly, makes quick work of a delicious flower blossom.

 
     
  Courting Variegated Fritillaries
Dragonfly Woman
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 23, 2013

A male variegated fritillary tries to get it on with a female!

 
     
  Variegated Fritillary Butterfly Eclosing 1080p macro
timvid
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 20, 2011

http://www.WildlifeTheater.com

 
     
  Variegated fritillary caterpillar eating a passion vine leaf
ba5sman
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 2, 2009

Variegated fritillary caterpillar eating a passion vine leaf

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
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Dave Jungst
8/13/2014

Location: Pope County

At Glacial Lakes State Park

variegated fritillary


     
     
 

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