Home / Brush-Footed (Nymphalidae) / Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)


Variegated Fritillary

The Variegated Fritillary is a species of large, primarily orange butterflies that are found in both the Americas. In the south, they are mostly seen flying between April and October, whereas in the north, they are seen active between summer and early fall.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Genus: Euptoieta
  • Scientific Name: Euptoieta claudia

Description and Identification


Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

The larva has a brownish copper color with white lines across the body. The lines are mottled with fine black spots, while the entire body is studded with small, black, spine-like growths.


Variegated Fritillary Chrysalis

The chrysalis is shiny white with bright orange to copper spots along with tiny black spots along with each. They typically hang from the upper side of the leaves of their host plant.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Not present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the dorsal side shows a checkered pattern in black and orange, with both the pairs of primary and secondary wings having a row of submarginal dark spots, each, along with dark median lines running across the wings. When the wings are closed, the ventral side of the forewings display an orange base coloration with a pale orange spot bordered in black in the cell of the forewing. The hindwings have a faint postmedian band, and are mottled with browns and grays.

Variegated Fritillary Butterfly
Euptoieta claudia

Average wingspan: 1.75–2.25 inches (44–57 mm)

Flight pattern: Slow and erratic


Variegated Fritillary Eggs

Pale-green or cream-colored eggs are laid singly on host plant’s stems and leaves

Quick Facts

Distribution From Argentina through Central America and Mexico, higher up to the southern parts of the United States, as well as Cuba and Jamaica
Habitat Open sunny landscapes like prairies, fields, road edges, landfills, pastures, etc.
Lifespan of adults Around a month
Host plants In Central America: Passionflower species Passiflora oerstediiand Passiflora menispermifoliaElsewhere: Various passion flower species
Adult diet Flower nectar from species including butterflyweed, commonmilkweed, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, swamp milkweed,and tickseed sunflower

Did You Know?

  • The generic name of this large butterfly was derived from the Greek word euptoietos meaning ‘easily scared’, which probably hints at their nature.
Female Variegated Fritillary
Male Variegated Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary Host Plant
Pictures of Variegated Fritillary
Images of Variegated Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary Life Cycle

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