Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard The Gulf Fritillary
gulf fritillary Gulf fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae) are one of four longwing and fritillary butterflies found in Florida. They range throughout the southern U.S. and migrate northward during warmer months. They have been seen flying far from land over the Gulf of Mexico, hence the name.
The medium-sized (2.5-3.0") bright orange butterflies are easy to spot in fields and gardens and along forest edges. They fly rapidly, usually within a few feet of the ground, fluttering along a fairly straight course. Gulf fritillaries roost near the ground, sometimes in groups.
Gulf fritillaries prefer the nectar of red and white flowers, such as Spanish needles and Lantana. Some males sip mud.
Hostplants are Passiflora vines. The ribbed yellow eggs are usually laid singly. They become mottled with brown before hatching. Larvae are dark gray with lighter dots and reddish stripes, with two curved spines on the head and six rows of black branching spines along the body. The chrysalis, about an inch long, is curved and resembles a dried leaf.
The Photo Gallery contains pictures of Gulf Fritillaries mating.
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All photographs and images  Copyright © 1997-2015  Marianne Cowley  All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 1997-2015  Marianne Cowley
All Rights Reserved