Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

The Gulf Fritillary is another solitary butterfly. Like the Variagated Fritillary, it is also ‘flighty’, continuously on the move, flitting from place to place, and rarely staying still for more than a few seconds. Very frustrating to photograph...

It usually lands on a flower with wings open and, after a few seconds…

folds them until it flies to another flower. The underwing patches that are white in refracted light appear like silver in reflected light.

I photographed the butterfly with folded wings this spring and the butterfly with open wings last year. It’s very frustrating to try to photograph this butterfly with open wings since it moves around the bush continuously, spending only a minute or two on each flower. Fortunately, they will return to the same bush repeatedly.

Identification resources:
- West Central Georgia Butterflies by Michael Beohm: Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
- BugGuide: Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) [Wings folded] [Wings open]
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