Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana)
The Diana Butterfly or the Diana Fritillary is a species of bright orange butterflies found in parts of the North American continent, especially in the Arkansas valley.
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Speyeria
- Common names: Diana Butterfly
- Scientific Name: Speyeria diana
Description and Identification
The insects hatch out before winter and consume the host plant’s leaves. It is either completely black or blackish brown with yellow dots and lines of thorny projections on the dorsal side.
As the winter arrives, the caterpillar burrows directly into the ground and transform into a black to brown-black chrysalis to emerge as an adult butterfly in spring.
Sexual Dimorphism: Distinctly present
Color and Appearance: While the male butterflies have broad orange borders at the outer edges of both the forewings and the hind wings when they are open, and burnt orange color when closed, the females exhibit a dark blue coloration on the dorsal side of their wings and almost a dusty grayish hue on the ventral side. Also, by size, the female of the species is larger than the male.
Average wingspan: 3 7/16 to 4 7/16 inches (8.7 to 11.3 cm)
Flight pattern: Fast
Yellowish to pale white in color, laid one at a time. These butterflies have a unique characteristic of scattering their eggs at the base of the violet plants (instead of laying them on the leaves, like most other butterfly species).
|Distribution||Southern and eastern North America|
|Habitat||Sunny wooded areas, forest edges|
|Host plants||Leaves of plants from the violet (Violaceae) family|
|Adult diet||Flower nectar and dung|