Fritillary Butterflies

Aphrodite Fritillary

Speyeria aphrodite



The Aphrodite Fritillary butterflies began showing themselves around Crex Meadows in early july. They were very skittish and not posing well for the camera. By mid-July these Fritillary's had settled down and allowed picture taking opportunities.

The Aphrodite Fritillary has good colors and provides a nice photograph to the person willing to follow them around, flower to flower, for that clear detailed shot.

The picture on the right was taken on a dirt road in the North east portion of Crex Meadows. Several butterflies were taking minerals from the ground.

Picture taken July 15, 2008



The Aphrodite Fritillary can be confused with the Atlantis Fritillary where their ranges overlap. To a lesser degree, the Great Spangled Fritillary bears a resemblance to the Aphrodite Fritillary. From the underside, the Aphrodite Fritillary has a smaller or no light submarginal band on the lower hindwing compared to the Great Spangled Fritillary. From the top, open wing view, the Aphrodite Fritillary does not have the black border like the Atlantis Fritillary has.

Some people suggest the eye color of the Aphrodite Fritillary is a more orange-tan with spotting and the Atlantis Fritillary eye color is a whiter with spotting eye color.

Others have indicated that for Wisconsin, the Aphrodite Fritillary has an earlier peak numbers (early July) where the Atlantis Fritillary has an early August peak numbers on average.

Picture on left taken July 15, 2008


The Aphrodite Fritillary on the right was one of the few clear open wing shots I took on July 15, 2008.

There were several Aphrodite Fritillary moving around on the north east side of Crex Meadows, feasting on Butterfly weed flowers then moving to brush areas to sun themselves for a few moments at a time.

The Aphrodite Fritillary were feeding fast and moving around on the flowers in a frenzy.



I came across these two mating Aphrodites very low to the ground and hidden by the leaves.

There was alot of courtship activity with the Aphrodite Fritillary on Crex Meadows July 15, 2008.

Wing span: 2 1/2 - 3 1/4 inches (6.3 - 8.3 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Various violet species including northern downy violet (Viola fimbriatula) and lance-leaved violet (V. lanceolata).

Females walk about on the ground to lay single eggs near violets. First-stage caterpillars do not feed, but overwinter until spring, when they eat young leaves of violets.

Habitat: Moist prairies, high mountain meadows, openings in barrens, brushland, dry fields, open oak woods, bogs.

Sightings Chart

Colored squares along the x-axis indicate weeks none of this species were seen. Example June 1 - 15 show several visits over the years with no sightings of the Aphrodite Fritillary.
Chart Accuracy Self Rating: Under-represented in High Count Years, especially in 2014.

Taxonomy

TaxonomyAphrodite Fritillary -Speyeria aphrodite   
Kingdom: Animalia Animals
Phylum: Arthropoda Arthropods
Superclass: Hexapoda Hexapods
Class: Insecta Insects
Subclass: Pterygota Winged Insects
    Order: Lepidoptera Butterflies and Moths
      Superfamily:  Papilionoidea
          Family:   Nymphalidae    Brushfooted
            Subfamily:    Heliconiinae     Fritillary
               Tribe:      Argynnini
                 Subtribe:     
                   Genus:       Speyeria
                      Specie:           aphrodite