Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Great Spangled Fritillary

Photograph by Carol Muth

The Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele) is an insect in the Brush-footed Butterfly (Nymphalidae) family. This butterfly has a wingspan of 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) to 3¾ inches (9.5 centimeters). The upper side of the wings is an orange-brown with dark spots. There are also rows of dark crescents. The underside of the forewings is paler with a few silvery-yellow spots and brownish markings. The undersides of the hind wings are darker with silver spots outlined in black.

The caterpillar is black with six rows of red and black spines. It eats the leaves of violet plants only at night. During the day, the caterpillars hide away from their food source. Adults sip nectar from flowers.

The Great Spangled Fritillary flies from late spring to early fall.

 

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