Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Papilio Nymphalis Phalerata claudia Cramer, 1775. Type locality: Jamaica
Papilio clausius Herbst, 1798. Proposed as replacement for P. claudia, which was thought to be preoccupied and invalid
Papilio daunius Herbst, 1798. Type locality: "Ostindien" (=East Indies); apparently in error, or name is misapplied to this species.
Euptoieta claudia (Cramer) E. Doubleday, 1848
Explanation of Names
First described in 1776 (some sources say 1775) by Pieter Cramer
as Papilio claudia
Orange-brown upper surface edged with black spots. Underside is light brown with a pale postmedian band on the hindwing, and no silver spangles (seen in other fritillaries). Smaller than other fritillaries, closer to a Buckeye in size. Flies low to the ground and is hard to approach. Black-edged light spot near the center of the forewing helps to distinguish this from other fritillaries.
North America and southern South America. South American population often separated as Euptoieta hortensia.
Permanent resident in south. Annually spreads and colonizes northwards usaully to southern Canada. Rarely encountered north of Great Basin west of Rockies, and north of southern California near Pacific Coast.
Any open sunny area particularly fields and grasslands with flowers present. Caterpillars can often be found on Pansies, Violets, Flax, and Passion Vines in flower gardens.
Four or more overlapping broods in the south, two or three in the north.
Larvae feed on Violets & Pansy (Viola), Flax (Linum), Passion Vine (Passiflora), Moonseed (Menispermum), Mayapple (Podophyllum), Stonecrop (Sedum), Purslane (Portulaca) and others. Adults are fond of flowers, and especially seem to like Thistles and yellow Composites. They also frequently visit damp ground.
Multiple generations per year (up to two or three in north, and four or more overlapping broods in south). Only overwinters in southern states. Overwintering stage is debated, but definitely as larvae, which are often found under logs, boards, and rocks during cold, and will wander around looking for food on warm mid-winter days. Perhaps can overwinter in all stages, depending upon the climate of a particular region.
Butterflies Through Binoculars(1)