Gulf Fritillary
Pictures: AP |


Family Nymphalidae

The brush-footed butterfly gets its name from its distinctive short, hairy forelegs.

Great Spangled Fritillary
Pictures: AP |


Speyeria cybele

Butterfly Spotting: The upperwings of the great spangled fritillary are orange and patterned with black dashes and dots.

Backyard Tip: This swift-flying butterfly will pause to take nectar from many flowering plants such as milkweed, thistle, ironweed, dogbane, mountain laurel, verbena, vetch, bergamot, red clover, joe-pye weed, and purple coneflower.

Gulf Fritillary
Pictures: AP |


Gulf fritillary
Agraulis vanillae

Butterfly Spotting: This bright red and orange butterfly makes its home in the Gulf of Mexico. The upperside of its colorful wings are marked with a scattering of black spots. Tiny white spots rimed in black can be found along the leading edge of its forewings. Underside is brown with iridescent silver markings and the forewing is orange at the base.

Backyard Tip: The Gulf fritillary enjoys nectar from lantana plants (a tropical shrub), the sprawling annual shepherd’s needle and cordias, another plant that likes warm weather.

Meadow Fritillary
Pictures: Getty Images |


Boloria bellona

Butterfly Spotting: Fritillaries tend to look similar with their orange wings and black markings. A helpful identifier for the meadow fritillary is its squared off forewing. The underside is orange and purplish brown.

Backyard Tip: To attract meadow fritillaries to your back yard try planting black-eyed Susan, dandelion, and ox-eye daisy.

Variegated Fritillary
Pictures: iStockphoto |


Euptoieta claudia

Butterfly Spotting: The upperside of this butterfly is orange with black markings. Its wings are angled and slightly scalloped.

Backyard Tip: The variegated fritillary is attracted to the nectar of butterflyweed, common milkweed, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, swamp milkweed, and tickseed sunflower

Zebra Heliconian
Pictures: iStockphoto |


Heliconius charithonius

Butterfly Spotting: The long, narrow wings and bold yellow stripes set against a black background make this butterfly easy to identify.

Backyard Tip: Like most butterflies the zebra heliconian sips nectar, but this insect also eats pollen. These butterflies also like routines. They forage along the same route every day, a butterfly behavior called a trapline. Favorite plants include lantana and shepherd’s needle.



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