The Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) bucks the northern fritillary distribution trend, inhabiting the warm climates of the Gulf Coast and Southwest.
It's the only genus Agraulis fritillary species in North America.
The orange caterpillar is covered with dark spikes of hair protruding from the body.
It feeds on plants in the Passiflora genus, better known as passion vines.
The picture on the right shows a top view of the butterfly.
One of the easier fritillary species to identify, the presence of three small white spots on the top borders of the wings defines it.
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More Southern Fritillaries
The Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia), the most wide spread of the two native Euptoieta species, flies from early spring through late fall in most of North America.
The caterpillars feed on a plants from a variety of families, including violets.
A subtropical species, the Julia Longwing or Julia Heliconian butterfly (Dryas Julia) inhabits areas of South Texas and South Florida.
Picture three shows a female with thin, orange wings that are surrounded by a dark border and wing patten. The caterpillars feed on passionflowers.
The Zebra Longwing or Zebra Heliconian (Heliconius charithonius), a striking butterfly found regularly in South Texas and South Florida, sometimes stray north to the Midwest and Southeast.
The long, think, black and yellow striped wings make them very easy to identify.
Zebra Heliconian are popular butterflies, shown at many butterfly exhibits around the United States. They are also the state butterfly of Florida.
© 2008-2013 Patricia A. Michaels