Subject: Fritillary ID
Geographic location of the bug: Oregon, Fall River (near Bend)
Time: 12:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Can you help identify this fritillary butterfly. I had no idea how difficult they are to identify. I can’t determine if this is hydaspe or maybe zerene or perhaps a different species. Thank
How you want your letter signed: Bruce Carlson
Thank you for including both a dorsal and ventral view. Fritillary identification can indeed be quite challenging, but we believe it might be the Zerene Fritillary, Speyeria zerene. According to Butterflies Through Binoculars, The West, the Zerene Fritillary is “mid-sized fritillary that is extremely variable.” The difficulty in distinguishing different species of Fritillaries from one another is further exacerbated by the extreme variability many species exhibit. Here is a BugGuide image of a dorsal view for comparison and also a ventral view from BugGuide. We would defer to any Fritillary experts on this matter.