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Gulf Fritillary
Agraulis vanillae

Description:
Medium sized butterfly with a wing span up to 3 3/4 inches. The upperside of the wings are bright orange in color with black markings; three black-encircled white dots are found on each forewing. The underside of the wings have elongated silver spots.
Range:
Southern United States, West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America; rarer to the north in the United States.
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
All year in South Florida.
Habitat(s):
Hammock edges and gaps, coastal uplands and open, disturbed sites.
Reproduction:
Eggs are laid on many parts of host plants.
Natural History:
.
Food:
Caterpillars feed on most parts of host plants. Native larval host plants include the vines corkystem passionflower (Passiflora suberosa) and maypop (Passiflora incarnata). Larvae will also feed on the edible passion fruit (Passiflora edulis). Native nectar plants include shrubs such as Christmasberry (Lycium carolinianum), silver sea-oxeye-daisy (Borrichia frutescens) and wild-sage (Lantana involucrata); wildflowers such as blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), scorpionstail (Heliotropium angiospermum) and snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea); and, vines such as yellowroot (Morinda royoc). Weedy native nectar plants include Jack-in-the-bush (Chromolaena odorata), pencilflower (Stylosanthes hamata) and Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata). Adults will also feed on the common landscape plant paper flower (Bougainvillea glabra) and the invasive shrubverbena (Lantana camara).
Comments:
For more information, visit the Florida Museum of Natural History's Florida Wildflowers & Butterflies website, the University of Florida/IFAS Featured Creatures website, and Butterflies and Moths of North America.


 


Archie Edwards
Kirsten N. Hines
Kirsten N. Hines
Archie Edwards
Joe Barros
Erin Backus
Erin Backus
Pupa
Erin Backus

Erin Backus