Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterflies are found throughout much of North America and in all of Arizona. These common butterflies prefer more open, sunny areas and are usually not seen in densely forested habitats. In early November, I observed these Variegated Fritillary butterflies flying from flower to flower on a wide, sandy, autumn wildflower-covered bank of the San Pedro River in St. David, Arizona.

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly showing its dorsal wing surfaces

Variegated Fritillaries have brownish orange dorsal wing surfaces patterned with wavy, black lines surrounding lighter orange cells and a row of black spots and two blackish lines along the edges of both the dorsal forewings and hindwings. The ventral forewings are patterned with orange and tan, while the ventral hindwings are a variegated brown and tan.

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly showing its ventral wing surfaces

The adult butterflies feed on flower nectar, while their caterpillars feed on the foliage of a wide variety of plants, with Violets (Viola spp.) and Passionflowers (Passiflora spp.) being some of their particular favorites.