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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Atlantis Fritillary - Speyeria atlantis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status

External Links

General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986, Glassberg 2001, Guppy and Shepard 2001, Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.2-3.2 cm; a small to mid-sized fritillary. Variable, but typically bright tawny or orange dorsally with strong black spots and "thickened" black veins on forewings, black forewing borders, black scaling at wing bases; ventral hindwing disk usually fairly evenly-colored dark chocolate or milk chocolate brown, spots silver (or ventral hind wing disk reddish-brown and spots usually un-slivered), submarginal band narrow to medium, buffy-yellow crossed by dark veins; eyes blue-gray.

One flight, late June to mid-September (Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986, Glassberg 2001, Pyle 2002); early July to mid-August in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Differentiated by a combination of eye color, dark to black dorsal forewing borders, swollen black regions along veins, and ventral hindwing disk color fairly uniform, not mottled.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
From Alaska to central California, southern Arizona, and southern New Mexico west of the Great Plains, across southern and boreal Canada to Newfoundland, and south in the northeastern US and Appalachian Mountains; isolated population in the Black Hills, South Dakota (Scott 1986, Guppy and Shepard 2001, Pyle 2002). Mostly common to abundant (Glassberg 2001). In Montana, throughout the state except in some prairie regions (Kohler 1980, Standford and Opler 1993).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6

(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)


Montane pine forest and spruce-fir forest openings, moist meadows, streamsides (Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986, Guppy and Shepard 2001, Pyle 2002). Xeric and mesic meadows in Glacier National Park (Debinski 1993).

Food Habits
Larval food plants primarily species of Viola. Adults sip flower nectar, particularly Monarda, sometimes feed at mud and dung (Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986, James and Nunnallee 2011).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs in mid-August singly and haphazardly near the base of the larval food plant (Viola). Eggs hatch in about 13-14 days, first instar L1 larvae hide on curled leaves and overwinter, L2 instar reached in 7-9 days after exiting hibernation, L2 to pupation in 35-39 days; all instars solitary with no nest, most feeding is nocturnal. Mature larvae silk together leaves close to the ground as a pupation tent; adults eclose about 12 days after pupation. Males patrol throughout the day in open areas, trails, roads, especially moist valley bottoms, in search of females (Scott 1986, James and Nunnallee 2011).

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