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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Coronis Fritillary - Speyeria coronis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status

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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.9-4.0 cm. A mid-sized to large fritillary. Tawny orange to bright orange dorsally, sometimes with postmedian and marginal spots lighter than surrounding ground color, males with light black chains along wing margins, females with heavy black chains; ventral forewing usually reddish-orange flush (especially females), hindwing marginal silver spots inwardly rounded (almost egg-shaped, not tent-like or triangular) and capped with greenish-brown, other underwing silver spots large and round, hindwing disk color brown, submarginal band straw-yellow or pale buff.

One flight; June to early September (Scott 1986), early May to mid-October in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011), late May to early September east of the continental divide in Colorado (Glassberg 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinguished from other large fritillaries by hindwing marginal silver spots inwardly rounded (almost egg-shaped, not tent-like or triangular) and capped with greenish-brown, the underwing submarginal band straw-yellow or pale buff.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
From northern Washington south to Baja California, east through the Great Basin to the central Rocky Mountains and high Great Plains of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, and extreme western South Dakota and Nebraska (Scott 1986; Glassberg 2001). To 2770 m elevation in Colorado and Wyoming (Brown 1957; Ferris and Brown 1981), to 2440 m in Oregon and Washington (James and Nunnallee 2011; James and Pelham 2011). In Montana, mostly in the middle third of the state but not recorded in the northern tier of counties adjacent to Canada (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Uncommon east of the continental divide (Glassberg 2001).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 4

(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)

Mostly Non-Migratory, but an altitudinal migrant in Oregon coastal lowlands, making elevational movements upslope in midsummer and returning in late summer (Scott 1986). In central Washington the same altitudinal migration reported, mostly by females, who travel 50-100 km between lowland and montane sites (James and Pelham 2011).

Chaparral, sagebrush steppe, conifer woodland, montane meadows (Scott 1986; Pyle 2002; James and Pelham 2011).

Food Habits
Larval food plants include several species of violet (Viola) (Scott 1986; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Apocynum, Aster, Astragalus, Barbarea, Carduus, Centaurea, Chrysothamnus, Cirsium, Erigeron, Erioganum, Erysimum, Gaillardia, Heracleum, Jamesia, Lesquerella, Liatris, Medicago, Monarda, Oxytropis, Physocarpus, Sedum, Senecio, Solidago, Taraxacum, Verbena) and sip mud (Scott 1986, 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs in fall (September and October in central Washington), usually singly but sometimes in close proximity, on rocks, bare earth, ground-level trunks and stems of sagebrush in areas with concentrations of desiccated violets. Eggs laid 5-25 cm apart, then female moves to another location 5-30 m distant. Eggs hatch in about 14-20 days (depending on temperature), larvae diapause (overwinter) as L1 instar. L1 molt to L2 in about 8-9 days, L2-L6 and to pupation in about 31 days; larvae solitary, build no nests, rest on undersides of leaves, and feed nocturnally. Adults eclose (emerge from pupae) in about 12 days (James and Nunnallee 2011; James and Pelham 2011). Males patrol rapidly and low over the ground throughout the day in all areas, regardless of topography (Scott 1975b, 1986; James and Pelham 2011).

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Citation for data on this website:
Coronis Fritillary — Speyeria coronis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from