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Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Great Spangled Fritillary.

 Updated: 1/14/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Great Spangled Fritillary has a different hue in different parts of the continent, raising the level of difficulty in identifying it.



Apart from Mexico and some southern states in the U.S., the Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly is commonly found everywhere and anywhere. Like other Fritillary butterflies, they are usually orange overall with white spots on the underside of the wing. Some individuals may appear more brown than orange. Though their overall color may be somewhere between orange and brown, the pattern of white white spots under the wings and black stripes on top are consistent for the species. When wings are raised, a row of white, triangular spots following closely along the edge is visible. A broad yellowish band of color separates these mini triangles from a brown area closer to the body. On the top side of the wings, the body and the basal area on the wings are brown. Bright yellow-orange flares from this area and covers the rest of the stretched-out forewings. Rows of black dashes, dots, and chevrons border the wings' edges.

Look for them in gardens, parks, roadsides, meadows. They like being near a water source. Adults drink nectar from a variety of flower species. Look for them near violets, the preferred food source for larvae. Great Spangled Fritillary caterpillars overwinter and feed on the host plant in the spring.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Nymphalidae
          Genus: Speyeria
            Species: cybele
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Speyeria cybele
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 62mm to 88mm (2.42in to 3.43in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange, black, yellow, white
Descriptors: flying, spotted, violets
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.