Subject: Identify butterfly
Location: Northwest Missouri
May 31, 2012 9:19 pm
Found this butterfly hanging about our campsite. Would like to identify and any information or acces to such regarding the species. State park, white oak and hickory upland forest. 5/19/2012
Signature: Thomas Orr

Greater Fritillary

Dear Thomas,
This is one of the Greater Fritillaries in the genus
Speyeria, but we are not certain of the species.  We often have trouble differentiating the Fritillaries from one another, but they are difficult to confuse with other butterfly genera.  To further complicate identifications, some species have numerous regional subspecies.  According to BugGuide:  “This is one genus that is unlikely to be confused with any other. These are medium to large sized, broad-winged butterflies (most are over 2 inches in wing span, all at least nearly this large, and many species are much larger). Most have a distinctive pattern of black dashes and spots above and with rounded or oval (usually silvered) pale spots below, particularly on the hind wing. There are a few species in which colors may be modified from the usual orange ground, and several in which light spots below may be unsilvered. In S. diana the pattern and coloring are highly modified, but this species is also very distinctive and recognizable at a glance. ”  The habitat you describe most likely contains many violets, the food plant of the Fritillary caterpillars.  Since it is now June 1 and we need a Bug of the Month, we can’t think of a lovelier choice than your Greater Fritillary. 

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Location: Missouri

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