America's Most Beautiful Butterfly Couple Nominee: Male Diana Fritillary

Location: Carlisle, SC
May 28, 2011 5:10 pm
What butterfly is this?
Signature: Ann074

Male Diana Fritillary

Dear Ann074,
This gorgeous butterfly is a male Diana Fritillary, .  We needed to qualify the identification with a modifier on the sex, because this is a highly sexually dimorphic species, meaning the males and females look like entirely different species.  The female butterfly is an aqua blue color.  Here is an image from our archives of a female Diana Fritillary.

Update May 28, 2011
If ever there was a strong candidate for beauty in the next authorized What’s That Bug? Calendar, it would be this pristinely beautiful male Diana Fritillary on a modern contraption.

Challenge to our Readership:  Take a staged insect photograph … or not.
Get a photo of a couple of Dobsonflies, male and female together.  If he is grasping her with those saber-like mandibles, it might be proof that the male needs those mandibles for mating purposes, because they sure can’t be used for eating.  This is one of our favorite bug couple photos of all time. It appeared in the 2006 What’s That Bug? calendar.

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