Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele

Great Spangled Fritillary

Speyeria cybele

Above, this species is orange with a variety of black markings, but is noticeably darker near the body, especially in fresh individuals. Below, this species is easily identified by the wide, light band on the hind wing.

Open fields and woodland edges. Can be found in both wet and dry habitats.

Overwintering Strategy:   Newly Hatched Caterpillars

One brood. Has been observed from mid-June until late September.

Caterpillar Host Plants:
Various Violet species (Viola species)

The Great Spangled Fritillary is found throughout the state from late June through August and into early September. The species is long-lived and many individuals that are found in late August and September are very worn with frayed and even missing parts and wings. They are often seen at nectar sources such as Common Milkweed, thistles, or Joe-Pye-Weed alongside the Aphrodite Fritillary in the southern part of the state, and in the northern counties with the Atlantis Fritillary.

Overwintering Strategy

Two-way migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to Central Mexico
Small migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to southern US
Immigrant: Adult migrates into Wisconsin from warmer areas and don't fly south in winter
Adult Butterfly: Hibernates overwinter as an adult butterfly
Eggs: Eggs laid on stems, twigs or foot plants overwinter in diapause
Caterpillar: Caterpillars make nests on the base of plants and hibernate until spring
Chrysalis: Caterpillars shed their last skin, form a chrysalis and enter diapause.

For more information, read: Where Do Butterflies Go In Winter?

Further Information:   

 Design A Butterfly Garden
 Take The Butterfly Quiz
 Monarch Life Cycle
 Butterflies and Moths of North America
 Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Assn (NABA)
 The Butterfly Site

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