Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1331913

Northwestern Fritillary
Speyeria hesperis

Observation date: July 09, 2022
Submitted by: DeepSkyKelly
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: I could be wrong, but after scratching my head over this one for a while, I'm going with Northwestern. My reasons. Black lines and spots on upper wings are extremely thin--too thin to be an Aphrodite. The variation pictured at the bottom of the Kaufman entry shows the same diminishing chevron pattern approaching the tip of the forewings: the chevrons fade away leaving slightly paler spots approaching each wing tip. Also in the Kaufman, just past the last dark line on the forewing and before the submarginal spots is a brownish "scuff" similar to that in the Kaufman image. I see that this is in a little pocket of range shared with the Atlantis, and that it's often difficult to distinguish the two. The roadside going down Johnson Mesa was virtually exploding with these butterflies. They were everywhere. Whatever the ID, it was exciting to see.
Status: Resident
Verified by: stevecary
Verified date: July 13, 2022
Coordinator notes: good job on the diagnosis. frits can be tough. The first thing I look at is eye color; Aphrodite has amber eyes while Northwestern has blue-grey eyes. your top photo shows the blue-grey eyes. all the other traits also match Northwestern. the local race of that species is Raton Mesa Fritillary. I'm pleased to her they are doing well. sounds like a fun day!
Checklist region(s): United States, New Mexico, Colfax County