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Variegated Fritillary ~ Euptoieta claudia (Cramer, 1776)
Canon EOS 30D SLR
Featured in the group “Insects, Bugs, & Creepy Crawlies”
Attributes of Euptoieta claudia
Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)
Subfamily: Longwings (Heliconiinae)
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.
Wing span: 1 3/4 – 3 1/8 inches (4.5 – 8 cm).
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.
NatureServe Global Status: G5 – Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.