This tropical butterfly has short hairs on its front legs, making it part of the 'brush-footed' butterfly family. They are fast flyers and usually stay at altitudes that are above human reach. In the warm climates it lives in, many broods are likely in one year and the butterflies are most active from spring to late autumn.
The caterpillar is yellow-greenish brown with orange-brown stripes. Two horns at the head and 6 rows of branching spines are signs that it is not one to touch or handle.
In addition to its appearance, the caterpillars, as well as the butterflies, are poisonous. The larvae feed on passion flower vines which contain a toxic chemical.
Sometimes, swarms of them leave Latin America and fly into southern Texas and Florida.
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common name: Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
Scientific Name: Agraulis vanilliae
Other Names: Longwing Butterfly
Adult Size (Length): 65mm to 80mm (2.56in to 3.15in) [ COMPARE ]
Identifying Colors: orange; white; black; brown; silver
General Description: speckled, antennae, hairy
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, the country of Mexico
* Insects are not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.Text ©2005-2014 www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • No Reproduction Permitted