Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) Butterflies are frequent in Missouri, however I solely ever encounter just a few every season. This yr I didn’t see my first one till a few weeks in the past when it was nectaring on the sedum in my yard. Late season blooming flowers like sedum, and goldenrod entice a variety of hungry butterflies and different bugs late within the season. Meals sources are starting to die and good nectaring crops are arduous to come back by. If you wish to maintain butterflies and different flower loving bugs round in your backyard longer remember to plant flowers that bloom at varied instances of the rising season. Sedum, or Eternally Vegetation as my grandma all the time known as them, are tremendous simple to develop. Discover a good friend that has some and ask to select a shoot or two from theirs. Pluck them instantly within the floor and water, viola’, that is it! Low cost and straightforward and butterflies love them!
Variegated Fritillaries are associated to fritillaries within the genus Speyeria, which incorporates the Regal Fritillary, and the Nice-Spangled Fritillary, however there are distinct variations that separate them. First, the VF has quite a few broods every season, whereas butterflies within the genus Speyeria solely have one. VF use quite a few crops as host crops, together with Passionvine, which biologically connects them to the Heliconia Butterflies (longwing butterflies). Speyeria use crops in a single genus…. Viola (violets). This plant particular host choice is one cause some species of fritillaries on this genus are endangered, just like the Regal Fritillary that lives in Missouri Prairies. Missouri has misplaced 98% of it is prairies to agriculture, city growth and habitat degradation. This lack of habitat makes it more and more tough for host particular species to carry on in what has primarily turn into island habitats.
The VF intently resembles two unrelated species, Pearl Crescent and Silvery Checkerspot (See footage for comparability).
Variegated Fritillaries have orangish-tan forewings with black veins and checkered markings. There are black dots shut the wing margins. The underwings resemble lifeless leaves which afford them safety from predation. Wingspan is roughly 1 3/4- 3 1/8 inches.
They’re discovered all all through North America and South America in meadows, alongside roadsides, in wastelands, flower gardens and forage fields like alfalfa and clover.
Their genus title, Euptoieta, is derived from the Greek phrase euptoietos which means “simply scared.” Observations of this species by naturalists famous their swift, flighty response to being approached. I personally have by no means had an issue approaching or photographing this species. This explicit one was particularly tolerant of my presence. May very well be it was tattered and worn and simply plain drained and extra centered on what sustenance it might get than by my bothersome proximity. In different phrases, it simply did not care.