Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Variegated Fritillary - Euptoieta claudia

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status

External Links

General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.6-3.6 cm, dwarfs 2.0 cm or less. Wings angular, forewing tips truncate, not smoothly rounded. Uppersurface dull orange-brown with a pinkish sheen when fresh, with black marginal spots between veins; undersurface of hindwing mottled, with pale median and marginal patches, without silver spots.

Multiple flights, all year in southern Texas, March to December in Florida; spreading northward in spring and summer (Scott 1986). Mid-May to October in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978), mid-July to early September in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001), early June to late September in British Columbia (Pyle 2002).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by a combination of wings angular, forewing tips truncate, not smoothly rounded; uppersurface dull orange-brown with black marginal spots between veins, undersurface of hindwing mottled and lacking silver spots.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Southern US south in highlands to Argentina; also highlands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica; regular immigrant north through most of US to southern Canada (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999); to 3810 m elevation in Colorado but rare above 2743 m (Scott and Scott 1978), to 2499 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana, reported across much of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Common to abundant in three-flight areas, uncommon to common in two-flight areas, rare to uncommon in one-flight areas (Glassberg 2001).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 8

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Migratory; emigrants from south reach the north but probably do not breed (Scott 1986; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002).

Open areas, waste fields, grassland, prairie, pastures, thorn scrub, open woodland, montane meadows, rarely above treeline in alpine terrain (Emmel 1964; Scott and Scott 1978; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001). Habitat in Montana not described but probably similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants include Boerhaavia, Desmodium, Linum (several species), Menispermum, Metastelma, Passiflora (several species), Plantago, Portulaca, Turnera, Sedum, and Viola (several species) (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Agoseris, Allium, Apocynum, Arctium, Arnica, Asclepias, Bahia, Bidens, Carduus, Centaurea, Cirsium, Comandra, Convolvulus, Cosmos, Cryptantha, Delphinium, Echinacea, Erigeron, Eriogonum, Erysimum, Euphorbia, Gaillardia, Gaura, Geranium, Grindelia, Gutierrezia, Harbouria, Helianthus, Heterotheca, Hymenopappus, Lesquerella, Liatris, Linaria, Linum, Lobelia, Machaeranthera, Medicago, Melilotus, Monarda, Paeonia, Penstemon, Physocarpus, Polygonum, Psilostrophe, Psoralea, Pycnanthemum, Ratibida, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedum, Senecio, Solidago, Symphyotrichum, Tagetes, Taraxacum, Thlaspi, Townsendia, Trifolium, Verbena, Viola, Zinnia) and mud (Tooker et al. 2002; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly (one report of 58 eggs total) on leaves and stems of host plants, both the undersurface and uppersurface (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; James and Nunnallee 2011). Eggs hatch in 3 days (depending on temperature), rate of growth variable, duration from egg-hatch to pupation 19-27 days, adults eclose (emerge from pupae) in about 9 days. Larvae build no nests; L3 and L4 instars mostly rest on underside of leaves during day, feed nocturnally; L4 and L5 instars wander off host plant to bask in sun, return to feed at night; overwinters as adult in the south (Ferris and Brown 1981; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males patrol close to ground throughout the day and habitat in search of females (Scott 1975b, 1986).

Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Variegated Fritillary — Euptoieta claudia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from