Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Euptoieta claudia - Variegated Fritillary - Hodges#4447

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar - Euptoieta claudia Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar - Euptoieta claudia Pre-Chrysalis Variegated Fritillary - Euptoieta claudia Euptoieta claudia - female Variegated Fritillary - Euptoieta claudia Variegated Fritillary For Illinois In September - Euptoieta claudia Variegated Fritillary (oieta claudia)? - Euptoieta claudia Variegated Fritillary For Illinois In August - Euptoieta claudia - female Variegated Fritillary - Euptoieta claudia
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily Heliconiinae (Heliconians and Fritillaries)
Tribe Argynnini (Fritillaries)
Genus Euptoieta
Species claudia (Variegated Fritillary - Hodges#4447)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
North American species / subspecies:
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
Euptoieta bogotana Staudinger 1885. Type locality: Bogota, Colombia
Euptoieta colombia Strecker 1899. Type locality: Colombia
Euptoieta poasina Schaus 1913. Type locality: Costa Rica
Euptoieta claudia dodgei Gunder 1927. Type locality: near Scribner, Dodge County, Nebraska

South American counterpart / species / subspecies:
Argynnis hortensia Blanchard 1852. Type locality: Chile
Argynnis valdiviana Philippi 1859. Type locality: Chile
Euptoieta claudia thekla A. Hall 1919. Type locality: Bolivia
Euptoieta ramirezi Giacomelli 1926. Type locality: Argentina
Euptoieta claudia hortensia (Blanchard)
Euptoieta hortensia (Blanchard)
Explanation of Names
First described in 1776 (some sources say 1775) by Pieter Cramer as Papilio Claudia
Number of subspecies recognized varies depending upon individual interpretation [see under "Range" below]. In Central America and Colombia the species tends to be found in isolated populations in mountains, and these have been treated as distinct subspecies (or even species) by some authors. However, they differ little from populations of "typical" subspecies claudia from further north. All material from the area covered by BugGuide is referable to subspecies 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 south from southern Canada through Central America to Colombia. South American populations from below the Amazon Basin look different and are treated as a distinct subspecies, or in recent years are more often separated as a distinct species - Euptoieta hortensia.

Permanent resident south of roughly 35˚ latitude. Annually spreads and colonizes northward, often into southern Canada. West of Rockies rarely encountered north of Great Basin, and near Pacific Coast rarely north of southern California .
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), Damiana (Turnera), 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.
Life Cycle
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.
Print References
Butterflies Through Binoculars(1)
Works Cited
1.Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East
Jeffrey Glassberg. 1999. Oxford University Press.