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Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Diana Fritillary

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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image of the Diana-Fritilliary-Butterfly Thumbnail image of the Diana-Fritilliary-Butterfly

The large and round Diana Fritillary is a butterfly that makes a different impression depending on its gender.

Updated: 09/23/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Diana Fritillary butterflies are large and their coloring is vivid. Males look very different from females and may even be mistaken for a separate species. The center of the male's wing is black and has thick orange borders around the edge. Black distal dots on the forewings punctuate the orange band along the border. Females also have a black center, but have a bright blue border on the bottom of the hindwings. This edge is also studded with black distal dots. Bright, white dots form rows on the forewings.

The caterpillar of the Diana Fritillary butterfly is black and fleshy with what look like orange-red nodes ringing each segment. These nodes have black spines projecting out of them. The larvae feed on violets.

Look for adults on the wing in the Ozark and Appalachian mountain regions throughout the summer and early autumn in areas near water. Elevated woodlands with creeks or streams offer a moist atmosphere that this species enjoys.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Rounded insect body icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Nymphalidae
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          Genus: Speyeria
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            Species: diana
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Speyeria diana
Other Name(s): Silverspot
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 76mm to 98mm (2.99" to 3.85")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, orange, brown, blue, white
Descriptors: Appalachian, Ozarks, spots, flying, large, round

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 76mm (3.0in) and 98mm (3.9in)
Lo: 76mm
Md: 87mm
Hi: 98mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Diana Fritillary may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Diana Fritillary. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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