Edwards' Fritillary - Speyeria edwardsii
[From Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986, Glassberg 2001] Forewing 3.2-4.0 cm. A large brightly colored fritillary. Forewings pointed. Dorsal surface bright orange color withbold black border of both wings, postmedian and marginal spots on forewings distinctly paler than surrounding ground color, counting from the body the 3rd forewing black bar does not touch the 2nd black bar; ventral surface green or gray-green with elongate metallic silver spots and narrow buff submarginal band, ventral hindwing marginal pale spots rounded inwardly.
One flight; late June to early September (Scott 1986), late May to early September (Glassberg 2001).
Differentiated by combination of dorsal black border, postmedian and marginal spots on forewings distinctly paler than surrounding ground color, counting from the body the 3rd forewing black bar does not touch the 2nd black bar, ventral hindwing marginal pale spots rounded inwardly, and ventral surfaces with strong greenish reflections.
Southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southwestern Manitoba south to extreme northern New Mexico in the west, western North and South Dakota, western Nebraska and Kansas in the east (Scott 1986, Glassberg 2001); up to 2745 m in Wyoming, 2925 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957, Ferris and Brown 1981). Statewide in Montana except the extreme western counties west of the continental divide (Kohler 1980, Stanford and Opler 1993). Uncommon to common (Glassberg 2001).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Chaparral, prairie, foothills, montane forest openings (Brown 1957, Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986). In Glacier National Park, reported in mesic montane meadows (Debinski 1993).
Larval food plants include species of Viola. Adults feed on flower nectar (including Agoseris, Apocynum, Astragalus, Buddleja, Carduus, Ceanothus, Centaurea, Chrysothamnus, Cirsium, Eleagnus, Erioganum, Erysimum, Eupatorium, Gaillardia, Grindelia, Heracleum, Jamesia, Liatris, Lithospermum, Medicago, Melilotus, Monarda, Oxytropis, Penstemon, Prunus, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Senecio, Symphoricarpos, Trifolium, Verbena), mud, and dung (Scott 1986, 2014).
Females lay eggs singly and haphazardly near the food plants (Viola) or where they will emerge in spring. Eggs usually not laid until about August, unfed first instar larvae (L1) overwinter. Larvae feed on leaves, build no nests. Males patrol throughout the day in open areas in search of females, generally regardless of topography, but also frequently patrol and mate in shrubby areas near hilltops (Scott 1975b, 1986).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Brown, F.M. 1957. Colorado Butterflies. Proceedings; Numbers Three through Seven. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Co.
- Debinski, D. 1993. Butterflies of Glacier National Park, Montana. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. No. 159: 1-13.
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Scott, J.A. 1975b. Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 14:1-40.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Scott, J.A. 2014. Lepidoptera of North America 13. Flower visitation by Colorado butterflies (40,615 records) with a review of the literature on pollination of Colorado plants and butterfly attraction (Lepidoptera: Hersperioidea and Papilionoidea). Contributions of the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthopod Diversity. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 190 p.
- Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies: including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Unpubl. Report. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado 275 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden: a field guide to the butterfly caterpillars of North America. Oxford University Press.
- Brock, J.P. and K. Kaufman. 2003. Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.
- Caruthers, J.C., and D. Debinski. 2006. Montane meadow butterfly species distributions in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report, 2006. Vol. 30, Art. 14. 85-96.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
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