Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Gulf Fritillary
Agraulis vanillae (Linnaeus, 1758)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Heliconiinae
Identification: Upperside bright orange with black markings; 3 black-encircled white dots on forewing leading edge. Underside brown; forewing with orange at base; both wings with elongated, iridescent silver spots.
Wing Span: 2 1/2 - 3 3/4 inches (6.3 - 9.5 cm).
Life History: Males patrol for females, who lay eggs on many parts of the host plant. Caterpillars feed on most parts of the host. Adults overwinter in the south.
Flight: Throughout the year in south Florida and South Texas, January-November in the north. Number of broods has not been determined.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various species of passion-vine including maypops (Passiflora incarnata) and running pop (P. foetida).
Adult Food: Nectar from lantana, shepherd\'s needle, cordias, composites, and others.
Habitat: Pastures, open fields, second-growth subtropical forest and edges, city gardens.
Range: South America north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to the southern United States. Wanders north to the central United States; rare northward.
Conservation: Not usually of concern.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Cultivate host plants.
Comments: NULL