Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fritillary Trifecta

 Having just returned from a quick trip to Pennsylvania,  here are a few quick photos from a fabulous day of butterflying.   The trip's focus was Fritillaries, the Speyeria genuis of butterflies; now the trifecta for your viewing pleasure.

Aphrodite Fritillary,  Speyria aphrodite

The Aphrodite Frit was a pleasant surprise on this trip. Having only once photographed this species in the Oak Openings in Ohio, it was the bonus butterfly of the day!  These are somewhat rare in Ohio, or at least rarely reported as they are difficult for the novice to separate from the more common Great Spangled Fritillary.  Note: the hindwings have little color contrast in the brown field.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele

One would be expect to see this butterfly on most outings in the mid-west or north-eastern states.  It is commonly found nectaring at any of the milkweeds and like all frits, its host plants are members of the violet family. Note the hindwings have a golden band of color contrast between those "great" silver spangles.

Regal Fritillary,  Speyeria idalia

All hail the KING!  The Regal Fritillary.  Once known  in most counties, it is extirpated (no longer found) from Ohio; it has not been reported since the late 1980's.  The prairie/meadow loving species is a breath-taking standout among the frits and worth the trip to see this glorious creature.

Stay tuned for some life-history and facts about this orange and black stunner.  Just give me a day to collect my thoughts-  the 'Picker.

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