Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Unsilvered Fritillary
Speyeria adiaste (W.H. Edwards, 1864)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Heliconiinae
Identification: Upperside of male pale reddish-tan to bright brick red; female larger and paler than male. Dark markings scattered and small except for bold postmedian line. Underside pale yellow to gray. Hindwing spots unsilvered and barely contrasting with background color.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 3/8 inches (5 - 6.1 cm).
Life History: Eggs are laid singly on fallen leaves and twigs near violets. First-stage caterpillars hibernate unfed, feeding on violet leaves in the spring.
Flight: One flight from June-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Violets including Viola quercetorum.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Openings in redwood and coniferous forests, oak woodlands, chaparral.
Range: Very local, restricted range in California County north to San Mateo County; east to north Los Angeles County and Kern County.
Conservation: Subspecies atossa is extinct; subspecies adiaste has a limited range and may be in jeopardy; while subspecies clemencei has the most extensive range.
NCGR: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management Needs: Inventory and monitor subspecies adiaste populations and make conservation assessment.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.