Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly ( Speyeria cybele )
Family: Brush-footed Butterflies(Nymphalidae) Subfamily: Longwings(Heliconiinae) Identification:Large. Upperside of male tan to orange with black scales onforewingveins; female tawny, darker than male. Underside ofhindwingwith wide pale submarginal band and large silver spots. Life history:Males patrol open areas for females. Eggs are laid in late summer on or near host violets. Newly-hatched caterpillars do not feed, butoverwinteruntil spring, when they eat young violet leaves. Flight:One brood from mid-June to mid-September. Wing span:2 1/2 - 4 inches (6.3 - 10.1 cm). Caterpillar hosts:Various violet species (Viola). Adult food:Nectar from many species of flowers including milkweeds, thistles, ironweed, dogbane, mountain laurel, verbena, vetch, bergamot, red clover, joe-pye weed, and purple coneflower. Habitat:Open, moist places including fields, valleys, pastures, right-of-ways, meadows, open woodland, prairies. Range:Alberta east to Nova Scotia, south to central California, New Mexico, central Arkansas, and northern Georgia. Comments: The most common fritillary throughout most of the eastern United States. Conservation:Not usually required.