2015 August 5

Sam caught this butterfly on June 29, 2014, and kept it in one of our mesh cages until I could come home to take pictures[1].

It is clearly one of the Greater Fritillaries, genus Speyeria, but it isn’t immediately obvious to me which one.

It looks quite a lot like the Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele, but then again it also looks rather a lot like several other butterflies in the genus. And while it was a largeish butterfly, it wasn’t that large, and the Great Spangled Fritillary is supposed to be bigger than the others.

The caterpillars of fritillaries in general tend to eat plants in the violet family, although they will eat some other plants as well. The last time I had pictures of a fritillary was way back in 2008, when some variegated fritillary caterpillars were eating Sandy’s potted petunias.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any fritillary caterpillars since 2008. It looks like the various fritillary caterpillars have different coloration, but all tend to be rather excitingly spiky and colorful.

[1] I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating – butterflies are terrible to take pictures of. They simply won’t hold their wings open long enough to get a shot of the top sides, and they insist on roosting in really unmanageable places. And my big macro-equipped DSLR is really awkward to get into the cage with a butterfly. In this case, I was using my TG-3 pocket camera for the pictures. While it was a lot handier to get lined up for a shot, the pictures still didn’t come out as well as I’d like.

One Response
  1. August 6, 2015

    Outstanding! The wings look to be in nearly perfect shape.

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