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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Callippe Fritillary - Speyeria callippe

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, Guppy and Sphepard 2001, Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.3-3.4 cm. Wings relatively short and triangular. Characterized everywhere by pale ventral hindwing marginal spots triangular and capped with thin triangle of green or brown. Ventral hindwing disk variable amounts of green to bright green, pale spots silvered, the median and submarginal spots show through the wings especially on females. Dorsal wing surfaces more yellowish-brown than bright orange, dark marking relatively evenly spaces giving a checkered appearance.

One flight. Mostly mid-June to mid-August, June to July in California (Scott 1986). In Washington and Oregon, early May to early September with peak in June and July (Pyle 2002); mid-May to late August in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001). Appears in early June in Colorado (Ferris and Brown 1981).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Characterized everywhere by pale ventral hindwing marginal spots triangular (not oval or flattened) and capped with thin triangle of green or brown, the ventral hindwing disk with variable amounts of green to bright green.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
From southern British Columbia east to southern Manitoba, south to southern California, central Nevada and Utah, southern Colorado, northern Baja Mexico; to at least 2956 m elevation (Scott 1986, Glassberg 2001, James and Nunnallee 2011); statewide in Montana (Kohler 1980, Stanford and Opler 1993). Common to abundant (Glassberg 2001).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 17

(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)


Habitats vary by subspecies, but include prairie grasslands, sagebrush-steppe, chaparral, pine woodlands, montane canyons (Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986, Pyle 2002, James and Nunnallee 2011).

Food Habits
Larval food plants include several species of Viola. Adults feed on flower nectar, including Sorbus, Gaillardia, Hieracium, and Spraguea, and at mud puddles (Scott 1986, Pyle 2002, James and Nunnallee 2011).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs in August, producing 100-150 eggs laid singly often in litter at base of sagebrush (Artemisia) or near larval foodplant. Eggs hatch in about 11 days, overwinter as L1 instar larvae for at least 100 days. After leaving hibernation on the onset of feeding, L2 instar reached in 7 days, L2 to pupation in 47 days, adults emerge from pupae in about 13-35 days, all depending on temperature. Larval feeding mostly nocturnal, pupate near the ground under lightly-silked leaf tents (Guppy and Shepard 2001, James and Nunnallee 2011). Males patrol and perch on hilltops until midday, then patrol near the ground over hillsides or flatter areas in search of females (Scott 1986).

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