Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Gulf Frit Cat, Silver Version?
Location: Orlando, Florida
February 20, 2011 7:25 pm
Hi Bugman. I was so excited and puzzled by my first caterpillar sighting since winter began. It looks like a gulf fritillary caterpillar but every one I’ve ever seen has been orange with black markings. This one is silver/gray with light orange stripes. It can’t be any other type of fritillary, can it? It was munching away on my passiflora incarnata. This one is a real beauty.
Signature: Elizabeth

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Dear Elizabeth,
Your identification is correct. This is a Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are generally orange with black branched spines and greenish-black stripes. There is a larval variant with purple/lavender stripes, seen mostly in Texas.
” and here is an example of that color variation from Arizona that is posted to BugGuide.

1 thought on “Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar”

  1. Everywhere I look, I see that every link says that these Gulf Fritillary caterpillars are not dangerous.
    Well, apparently one climbed on my bag and I didn’t know, and as I started on my way home from a walk in the woods to gather maypops, I started having this intense burning and itching sensation on my arm, right where I had rested it on my bag. So I checked my bag, and sure enough, the caterpillar was there, where I had my arm. I had welts and redness from my wrist to my elbow…soon after, my lips became numb. Now, hours later, I have a rash on my neck, upper chest, shoulders, and upper back…not sure if this was caused by the same thing, but the welts and redness and burning and itching on my arm was!!


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