Habitat: Open, disturbed locations
Wingspan: 2.0 - 3.0in
Range: Throughout most of the southeast but regularly colonizes most of the United States from Maine to California. Absent from the Pacific Northwest.
Larval Host Plants: Various passion flower vines including Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) and violets (Viola spp.)
Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Fond of a variety of flowers including butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
The Variegated Fritillary is a medium-sized butterfly common in many open, sunny locations. It has a low, rapid flight and often flits nervously from flower to flower. Its wings above are tawny orange with numerous brown markings. The hind wings below are mottled brown and lack the prominent, silver spots that characterize the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) and all true fritillaries in the genus Speyeria.
Females lay the tiny, cream-colored eggs singly on the leaves of the host. The mature larva is orange with black-and-white mottled sprites and numerous branched, black spines. It has two long, forward-pointing, black spines on the head.
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