Gulf Fritillary Life Cycle: A Fascinating Journey of Transformation

The Gulf fritillary is a vibrant butterfly commonly found across southern parts of the United States, from South Florida all the way to South America. It can be seen in open habitats such as grasslands, parks, and home gardens, making it a delightful addition to many butterfly gardens across the region.

This captivating creature has an interesting life cycle that begins with an elongate, yellow egg laid upon the leaves and tendrils of a host plant. As it matures, the caterpillar transforms into an orange larva with darker stripes and numerous black branched spines. The Gulf fritillary then goes through the chrysalis stage and emerges as a beautiful adult butterfly, with a wingspan ranging from 2.5 to 3.2 inches. Female Gulf fritillaries are typically larger and darker striped compared to their male counterparts.

Throughout their life, Gulf fritillaries contribute to the ecosystem by drinking nectar from plant families such as lantana plants and asters. Additionally, their appearance varies with the seasons, as they migrate to warmer areas during the winter months. Observing these bright and delicate creatures in their natural environment is truly a fascinating experience for both amateur and professional butterfly enthusiasts alike.

Gulf Fritillary Life Cycle

Eggs and Deposit Behavior

The Gulf Fritillary life cycle starts with eggs. Females lay tiny, yellow eggs on the host plant, usually the passion vine. Some characteristics of Gulf Fritillary eggs include:

  • Yellowish in color
  • Cylindrical shape
  • Laid singly

Caterpillar Phase: Larvae and Spines

Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillar phase begins. Gulf Fritillary caterpillars have distinct features such as:

  • Orange with black spines
  • Feeding exclusively on passion vine leaves

They undergo several instars, growing larger and shedding their exoskeleton each time, until they are ready to form a chrysalis.

Chrysalis and Pupa Phase

The caterpillars then enter the chrysalis stage, where metamorphosis occurs. Some key points about this phase:

  • Chrysalis is brown or green
  • Camouflaged to blend with surroundings
  • Duration of 9-15 days

During the pupa phase, the caterpillar undergoes a complete transformation into an adult butterfly.

Phase Duration Description
Egg 3-5 days Yellow, deposited on passion vine
Caterpillar 2-3 weeks Orange with black spines, feeds on passion vine leaves
Chrysalis 9-15 days Green or brown, camouflaged to blend in with surroundings

Adult Butterfly Emergence

The last stage of the Gulf Fritillary life cycle is the emergence of an adult butterfly. Some notable attributes include:

  • Wingspan of 6.5-9.5 cm
  • Bright orange with black markings
  • Males have elongated forewings

Adult Gulf Fritillaries live for about 14-27 days, feeding on nectar from plants like lantana and asters. They can be found in open habitats such as grasslands, parks, and home gardens.

Physical Characteristics

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

The Gulf Fritillary caterpillar has a striking appearance, featuring several distinct characteristics:

  • Color: Bright orange body
  • Spines: Black spines covering the body
  • Length: Can grow up to 4 cm in length

These caterpillars primarily feed on the leaves of passionflower vines (source: University of Florida IFAS Extension).

Adult Butterfly Appearance

The appearance of the adult Gulf Fritillary butterfly exhibits a few variations:

Dorsal Side

  • Color: Bright orange with black markings
  • Wingspan: 6.5 to 9.5 cm (U.S. National Park Service)
  • White Spots: Random scattering of white spots

Ventral Side

  • Color: Muted grayish-brown background
  • White Spots: Prominent silver-white spots
  • Distinguishing Marks: A few red-orange spots near the wing margins

There is also a degree of sexual dimorphism in Gulf Fritillary butterflies:

Male Female
Size Smaller than females Larger than males
Color Brighter, more vibrant orange tones Somewhat duller orange shades
Markings Thinner black markings on dorsal side Thicker black markings on dorsal side

In summary:

  • Gulf Fritillary caterpillars are bright orange with black spines
  • Adult dorsal side: bright orange, black markings, 6.5-9.5 cm wingspan, white spots
  • Ventral side: grayish-brown, silver-white spots, red-orange marks near wing margins
  • Sexual dimorphism: size, color differences, and marking variations between males and females

Food and Habitat

Host Plants for Caterpillars

The Gulf Fritillary butterfly, belonging to the Nymphalidae family, primarily lays its eggs on Passiflora plants, also known as passionflower vines. There are several species which the caterpillars of this butterfly feed on:

  • Passiflora incarnata: Purple Passionflower
  • Passiflora lutea: Yellow Passionflower
  • Corkystem Passionflower

These host plants provide the necessary nutrients for the caterpillars to grow and develop. In turn, some birds and insects may feed on these caterpillars.

Nectar Sources for Adult Butterflies

Adult Gulf Fritillary butterflies rely on nectar for their sustenance. They are particularly attracted to specific flowering plants, such as:

  • Lantana: A colorful, flowering plant that provides a rich source of nectar for butterflies, including the Gulf Fritillary.
  • Asters: Another popular nectar source for several butterfly species, including the closely related Longwing butterflies.

Visit here for a video of the Gulf Fritillary life cycle

Adult Gulf Fritillaries can be found throughout the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. They prefer open habitats, such as grasslands, parks, gardens, roadsides, disturbed sites, and butterfly gardens with ample sunlight.

Distribution and Migration

Gulf Fritillary butterflies, scientifically known as Agraulis vanillae, are primarily found in the southern regions of the United States. Their habitat spans across:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Southern United States
  • Mexico
  • Central America
  • South America

These brightly colored butterflies are commonly seen in open habitats like grasslands, parks, and home gardens.

In the Rio Grande Valley, located in Texas, the Gulf Fritillary has a strong presence thanks to the region’s favorable climate and abundant food sources.

Comparing the Distribution of Gulf Fritillary:

Location Presence Typical Habitat
Southern United States Common Grasslands, parks, gardens
Mexico, Central & South America Widespread Grasslands, parks, gardens

The migration patterns of the Gulf Fritillary are mostly influenced by availability of host plants and seasonal weather conditions.

These butterflies play a significant role in pollination as they feed on nectar-producing plants. Some popular plants that attract them are:

  • Lantana plants
  • Asters
  • Passionflower vines

Considering the distribution and migration of Gulf Fritillary, gardeners and wildlife enthusiasts can take advantage of the butterfly’s preference for specific plants to create a welcoming environment that supports their livelihood and promotes healthy ecosystems.

Gulf Fritillary and Related Species

Taxonomy and Classification

The Gulf Fritillary, scientifically known as Agraulis vanillae, is a species of butterfly belonging to the Lepidoptera order. They are a part of the Heliconiinae subfamily, which encompasses many colorful, longwing butterfly species. Gulf Fritillary’s vibrant appearance features striking orange forewings with black markings.

Comparison with Similar Butterflies

Gulf Fritillary shares similarities with other butterfly species within its subfamily, such as the Zebra Longwing and the Dryas iulia moderata (a subspecies of the passion butterfly). These longwings exhibit differences in terms of appearance and behavior.

Below is a comparison table highlighting their key features:

Feature Gulf Fritillary Zebra Longwing Dryas iulia moderata
Scientific Name Agraulis vanillae Heliconius charithonia Dryas iulia moderata
Subfamily Heliconiinae Heliconiinae Heliconiinae
Colors Orange with black spots Black with white stripes Orange with black markings
Wing shape Long wings Long wings Long and narrow wings
Larval host plants Passionflower vines Passionflower vines Passionflower vines

In short, Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, and Dryas iulia moderata share similarities such as being part of the Heliconiinae subfamily, featuring long wings, and having passionflower vines as their larval host plants. However, they differ in appearance with unique colors and patterns on their wings.

Defense Mechanisms and Predators

The Gulf Fritillary butterfly has developed multiple defense mechanisms to protect itself and survive in its environment.

  • Spines: Gulf Fritillary caterpillars are covered in rows of spines that may deter potential predators from attacking them.

  • Odorous chemicals: The caterpillars often feed on the passion vine, a plant containing toxic chemicals. These chemicals are sequestered by the caterpillars, making them unpalatable for predators like birds and wasps that may want to eat them.

Below is a comparison table between the defense mechanisms against predators for the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars and adult butterflies:

Stage Defense Mechanism Example of Predator
Caterpillar Spines Birds
Caterpillar Odorous chemicals (from passion vine) Wasps
Adult Butterfly Unpalatable due to sequestered chemicals Birds

Passion vine not only helps the Gulf Fritillary by providing a source of toxic chemicals for defense, but it is also a vital resource throughout the life cycle as a host plant for the eggs and larvae.

Gardening for Gulf Fritillaries

Attracting Gulf Fritillaries to Your Garden

Gulf Fritillaries are drawn to gardens with specific host and nectar plants. Some favorite nectar sources include:

  • Butterfly bush
  • Zinnia

In addition to nectar plants, provide larval host plants, such as varieties of passionflower.

Planting Passionflower and Nectar Sources

Passionflower (Passiflora suberosa) acts as a host for Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. Planting passionflower can attract these butterflies and support their lifecycle. Some features of this plant are:

  • Woody vine
  • Grows well in Florida
  • Small green flowers
  • Produces small purple fruits

While Passiflora suberosa is a popular choice, other passionflower species can also host Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. Compare these passionflower species:

Passionflower Species Growth Habit Flower Variation
Passiflora suberosa Woody vine Small, green
Passiflora incarnata Vine Large, purple

In addition to planting passionflower, ensure your garden has an ample supply of nectar sources. Butterfly bush and zinnia are excellent choices for attracting adult Gulf Fritillaries to your garden. These flowers offer:

  • Vibrant colors
  • High nectar production
  • Ease of care

Following these simple steps will help create a garden where Gulf Fritillary butterflies can thrive, completing their life cycle while adding beauty and life to your outdoor space.

Other Interesting Facts

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) is a beautiful species found in a variety of habitats, like grasslands and home gardens. They’re commonly seen in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America1. Here are some interesting facts about the Gulf Fritillary:

  • The Gulf Fritillary belongs to the Heliconiidae family2.
  • They are considered as brushfooted butterflies3.
  • Female Gulf Fritillary butterflies lay eggs on passion vines4.

The Sylvania subspecies, Agraulis vanillae incarnata, is native to North America5. They are found during summer, flourishing in the region’s warm climate6.

Below is a comparison table featuring the main characteristics of Gulf Fritillary and Sylvania subspecies:

Characteristic Gulf Fritillary Sylvania
Scientific Name Agraulis vanillae Agraulis vanillae incarnata
Family Heliconiidae Heliconiidae
Type Brushfooted butterflies Brushfooted butterflies
Distribution Southern United States, Mexico, Central America, South America North America
Primary Habitat Grasslands, home gardens Varies
Main Host Plant Passion vines Passion vines
Active Season Year-round in warmer regions, summer in cooler regions Summer

Footnotes

  1. Gulf Fritillary – U.S. National Park Service

  2. Gulf Fritillary – UF/IFAS Extension Broward

  3. Gulf fritillary – Agraulis vanillae (Linnaeus)

  4. Fritillary Butterfly – US Forest Service

  5. Gulf Fritillary – UF/IFAS Extension Broward

  6. Gulf fritillary – Agraulis vanillae (Linnaeus)

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

Some Bug Love
Well Hello!
I found these two lovers hanging out by my front door… thought you might enjoy. … Thanks and Enjoy!
Dacia
Tampa, FL

Hi Dacia,
Your mating Gulf Fritillary image is wonderful. The moth identification will take us some research.

Letter 2 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

Conjoined Twin Butterflies!
So, my 6-year old son calls me out to the passion flower vine, telling me that there are two butterflies lying on the ground, one on top of another. I explain that they are likely mating, and tried to go back to my work, but he INSISTED that I come out to see them. Imagine my surprise to find that they are, in fact, *conjoined twin* gulf fritillary butterflies, sharing a single abdomen! I think the picture 042 shows the join the best, albeit a bit out of focus. The other pictures are much clearer, but not as good of a view of the join. Amazing! Didn’t find anything about this anomaly online, so I thought I’d see if you were interested in having a look-see…. My question – Would they have come from conjoined caterpillars, or would they possibly have been a single caterpillar prior to the cocoon? Thanks for any insight!
Julianna McDuffie
San Marcos, CA

Hi Julianna,
Your letter gave us a good chuckle. These actually are mating Gulf Fritillaries. Taking a good look at our numerous Bug Love pages will reveal that many insects interlock during mating to ensure the fertilization process. Interestingly, the disection of butterfly genitalia is the only sure way to distinguis species sometimes. We are not certain if the cellular structure of an insect egg would even permit conjoined twins, but if it did, the immature insect would surely not survive since the mutation would not be an advantageous one. Since most insects don’t care for their young, exceptions being the social ants, bees, wasps, and termites, and some oddities like Bess Beeetles, a mutated larva that couldn’t survive on its own would die.

Letter 3 – White Tipped Black and Gulf Fritillary

 

??????????
Howdy again!
I’m still trying to figure out what this is. I looked thru your site and cannot find it, mainly because I don’t know which catagory it would be in. I’d really like to know what it is. Can you help! By the way, here’s one of my photos of a Gulf Fritillary: I have several, but this one is the best, I think. Thanks
D. Bryant,
East Texas

White Tipped Black Gulf Fritillary

Hi D.,
This interesting moth is known as a White Tipped Black, Melanchroia chephise. It is one of the Inchworm Moths in the family Geometridae. The North American Butterfly Association website has some information on this species. We are also happy to have you open winged view of the Gulf Fritillary to post with the Bug of the Month entry for December.

Letter 4 – Unknown Wasp and Gulf Fritillary

 

bug trade
Hey Bug man! Love your site, and usually find the name of the bug just by browsing. But I’m stumped on this iridescent blue bug, maybe he’s a wasp? Want to make sure he’s not going to eat my catterpillars, who are happily munching my passion vine (why don’t they eat the flowers?).

In exchange, I have attached some cool pix of the catterpillar who just today started to build its ‘coccoon’, you can see it down at the base…and the fritillaries(I think), who come out. I have roughly twenty cases in varied stages on my house and fence, and roughly 50 or more catterpillars still munching. They seem to love the passion plant for food, and once changed, they enjoy a rose of sharon, crepe myrtle and lantana, also they have been feeding at the hummingbird feeder, and some at the pasion flowers. It has been a warm dry summer, so maybe that’s the reason for the explosion of critters – I didn’t have this many all last year! Here are the photos. I am going to try and photo the one that’s ‘pupating'(?) now as it stages, and can share the other stages with you if you like!
PS – I had visited your site before when I lived in Florida. Just wanted to let you know that you were highly recommended by the local AG office here in Perry, Georgia!
Kaye Fiorello
Perry, GA

Hi Kaye,
What a sweet complimentary letter. Sadly, we don’t recognize your wasp species, but we have high expectations that Eric Eaton will correctly identify it. Eric wrote back: “The unknown wasp is a spider wasp of some kind, family Pompilidae. The “tarantula hawks” belong to that family, and the image is of one of the tarantula hawks’ more diminutive cousins:-) Keep up the great work. You have my unending empathy for getting innundated!” The Gulf Fritillary images are awesome. We don’t know why the caterpillars don’t eat the flowers.

Letter 5 – Spider Wasp and Gulf Fritillary

 

bug trade
Hey Bug man! Love your site, and usually find the name of the bug just by browsing. But I’m stumped on this iridescent blue bug, maybe he’s a wasp? Want to make sure he’s not going to eat my catterpillars, who are happily munching my passion vine (why don’t they eat the flowers?).

In exchange, I have attached some cool pix of the catterpillar who just today started to build its ‘coccoon’, you can see it down at the base…and the fritillaries(I think), who come out. I have roughly twenty cases in varied stages on my house and fence, and roughly 50 or more catterpillars still munching. They seem to love the passion plant for food, and once changed, they enjoy a rose of sharon, crepe myrtle and lantana, also they have been feeding at the hummingbird feeder, and some at the pasion flowers. It has been a warm dry summer, so maybe that’s the reason for the explosion of critters – I didn’t have this many all last year! Here are the photos. I am going to try and photo the one that’s ‘pupating'(?) now as it stages, and can share the other stages with you if you like!
PS – I had visited your site before when I lived in Florida. Just wanted to let you know that you were highly recommended by the local AG office here in Perry, Georgia!
Kaye Fiorello
Perry, GA

Hi Kaye,
What a sweet complimentary letter. Sadly, we don’t recognize your wasp species, but we have high expectations that Eric Eaton will correctly identify it. Eric informed us it is a Spider Wasp. The Gulf Fritillary images are awesome. We don’t know why the caterpillars don’t eat the flowers.

Letter 6 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

bug love
Greetings Bugman.
I took the attached picture at the Northrop pine rockland preserve located on the southwest of Miami-Dade County. I had shared the picture with a colleague who pointed me to your website. What a cool site! I would like to share my bug love picture with you guys since it is not often that you get to come across such love for nature and bugs. Thanks colleague!
Joaquin

Hi Joaquin,
Thank you for your kind words and for contributing your lovely image of Gulf Fritillaries mating to our site.

Letter 7 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

Gulf Frittialary Love
Hi Bugman!
Thank you for such an amazing website! I find myself checking the garden just for new bugs to identify! I have a beautiful butterfly garden and cater specifically to the gulf fritillary. I just snapped these photos today when I got home from work! Yippee! Mating fritillaries! You can actually see the chrysalis one had emerged from today behind them! So exciting to me! Thought you might enjoy! Take care and keep up the lovely website!
Jayme
Mission Viejo, CA

Hi Jayme,
Thanks for sending us your mating Gulf Fritillary image. Gulf Fritillaries can be found where its larval food plant, passionflower, is planted.

Letter 8 – Gulf Fritillary with unusual black markings

 

Butterfly ID
October 25, 2009
This butterfly feeding on a Zennia bloom looks like a Gulf Frittilary,but for the black
coloring on the upper & lower wings. Is this a sub-species of sort or a one-time mutation. It is the only one I have seen in my garden since I moved in 18 yrs ago.
Thanks for your patience; .. Lynn T Gill
LT
Trenton, FL

dark form of Gulf Fritillary
dark form of Gulf Fritillary

Hi Lynn,
We decided to begin our quest for a response by searching through all the Gulf Fritillary images on BugGuide, and we located an individual with even more black on the wings than your specimen.  That specimen created quite a blogging flurry, including this comment by Herschel
Raney:  “I was not being quite confident enough in my other note. This is indeed a Gulf Fritillary. There will be no other species with the exact spot placement and this coloration. It may be the first of its kind photographed. Or it could be a known variant that is just extremely rare. It is not a wandered species. There are no other species in the genus in our area. And it is very impressive.” Klaus, who posted the photos has more on his own website at http://virtua-gallery.com/wp/2007/09/the-butterfly-adventure/ It would be interesting to see if there are more dark specimens out there and if they eventually are recognized as a subspecies.

Gulf Fritillary dark form
Gulf Fritillary dark form

Letter 9 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

Mating Gulf Fritillaries
Location: South Pasadena, CA
November 21, 2011 10:59 pm
While you have several really beautiful photos of these butterflies mating,I didn’t see any in this position. I found these on my pumpkin vine last weekend.
Signature: Barbara

Gulf Fritillaries Mating

Hi Barbara,
Thanks so much for sending us your marvelous photo of mating Gulf Fritillaries.  How is your Green Lynx Spider population this year?

I haven’t seen too many full grown green lynx spiders.  Here’s a seven-legged individual I’ve seen a few times.

Male Green Lynx Amputee

Thanks Barbara,
We wonder what caused this male Green Lynx, whose sex is evidenced by his well developed pedipalps, to lose his rear leg.

Letter 10 – Potter Wasp and Gulf Fritillaries

 

Subject: Potter wasp and Gulf Fritillaries on Passion Flower vine
Location: Tucson, AZ
September 22, 2012 12:56 am
Good evening!
I thought you might enjoy these photos of some of the many visitors to my passion flower vines. In the first photo you’ll see a pretty little potter wasp constructing her nurseries. Any idea what species she is?
The second photo I like to call ”synchronized chrysalis exiting competition”. I’m fairly certain my 4 vines are responsible for about 90% of the population of Gulf Fritillaries in Tucson. I’ve had so many caterpillars my poor vines are barely clinging to life. Do you think the potter could be using the smaller caterpillars to feed her young? It would be great to get some natural crowd control.
I’ve also seen several tiny lacewing larvae on the vines, carrying around bunches of junk (and ant bodies) on their backs for camouflage- I was able to identify them using your site. They’re so cool, but my camera’s not sophisticate enough to get a good shot.
Love your site!
Signature: Emily

Potter Wasp constructs Pot

Hi Emily,
This is a beautiful Potter Wasp and your photo is exquisite.  One of the closest color matches we could find on BugGuide is
Dolichodynerus tanynotus, but alas, there is no species information.  There is a single submission from San Diego.  Further research on bugGuide makes us inclined to speculate that this is actually Eumenes bollii, which appears darker than your individual, however, the markings appear very similar, especially this image from San Diego.  The BugGuide genus page for Eumenes states:  “Females make a pot of clay as a nest, provision with moth and beetle larvae. Wasp places eggs on wall of cell, then provisions” though we would not discount the possibility that your individual is provisioning her nest with Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars, especially since the subfamily page on BugGuide indicates:  “Most provision with caterpillars.”  Thank you for proposing such an interesting hypothesis.  Though there is no actual documentation, we are taking creative license and tagging this as a Food Chain possibility.

Simultaneous emergence of Gulf Fritillaries

Daniel,
Thanks so much for replying to my letter. I think you nailed it with the Eumenes bollii identification, the photos on BugGuide look just like her. I’ve always wondered what sort of organs/tissues run through that tiny wasp waist from the body that keep the abdomen alive…
Thanks again,
Emily

Letter 11 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

Subject: Mating Gulf Fritillaries
Location: Orlando, Florida
September 12, 2013 4:05 pm
Hello. I really enjoyed photographing these two lovers last month. I thought you might enjoy the photo as well.
Signature: Elizabeth

Mating Gulf Fritillaries
Mating Gulf Fritillaries

Hi Elizabeth,
Your photograph of mating Gulf Fritillaries is quite beautiful.  Many years ago when we began creating what would eventually become the tags on our site, the first was our Bug Love tag.  From the very beginning, our readership has really responded positively to images of mating insects and other bugs.

Letter 12 – Mating Gulf Fritillaries

 

Subject: green catipillar
Location: southern arizona
November 9, 2014 7:41 pm
do you know what kind of catapillar this is. I have alot of orange butterflies around, but this one is different. It started making a coccoon right before my eyes. It’s in a weed I was pulling out of my yard. I have some great butterfly pics. I’ve included a few.
Signature: babbs greg

Mating Gulf Fritillaries
Mating Gulf Fritillaries

Dear Babbs,
There is not enough detail for us to identify your caterpillar, but as it is spinning a cocoon, we are speculating that it is a moth.  Your mating Gulf Fritillaries image is a nice addition to our site.

Letter 13 – Life Cycle of a Gulf Fritillary

 

Subject: West Los Angeles sighting – Gulf Fritilary – 1
Location: West Los Angeles
June 20, 2017 1:52 pm
Hi Bugman,
Here’s the next set of pictures. Hope you enjoy them.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Mating Gulf Fritillaries

Dear Jeff,
It is going to take a chunk of time to correctly edit the posting to contain your awesome images depicting the life cycle of the Gulf Fritillary,
Agraulis vanillae, a common Southern California butterfly.  We have decided to begin the posting with your awesome image of a pair of mating Gulf Fritillaries, a logical place to begin a life cycle, and we will add to the posting as we reformat your images. This has prompted us to initiate a new tag of Buggy Life Cycles to house both this and your previous Anise Swallowtail documentation.

Gulf Fritillary ovipositing on passionvine.
Hatchling Gulf Fritillary caterpillar (right)
Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar
Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar
Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar with, possibly, a parasitic Wasp (right)

Hi Daniel,
This is the second time you’ve spotted a parasitic wasp in one of my pictures.  Is there anything I can, or should, do about this?  I understand the wasp has as much right to exist as the butterflies, but I can’t help feeling protective over the caterpillars.
Thx, Jeff

Gulf Fritillary Chrysalis

Sorry Jeff,
We can’t think of a way for you to protect the early stages of butterflies from parasitoids unless you raise the caterpillars in a container with a fine mesh screen.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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