Mexican Fritillary (Euptoieta hegesia) (Cramer, 1780)

Diagnosis: This species has the same sharply angled wing margins as Variegated Fritillary (E. claudia), and very similar forewing and underside patterns. The basal half of the hindwing upperside is clear orange, with the typical black fritillary markings restricted to a band around the margin. Wingspan: 66 to 74 mm.

Subspecies: The only subspecies found in North America is hoffmann.

Range: This South and Central American species ranges north through Mexico into southern Texas and occasionally as far north as southern Manitoba.

Similar Species: The Variegated Fritillary (E. claudia). [compare images]

Early Stages: The larva is bright red with dorsal and lateral black-edged silver lines and six rows of black spines. It feeds on passion flowers (Passiflora spp.) and several other families of plants not likely to be found in Canada.

Abundance: This fritillary is common in Mexico and southern Texas, rare farther north.

Flight Season: Flies all year in the far south, at least July to December in southern Texas.

Habits: Euptoieta hegesia migrates north into central Texas and southern California, rarely farther.

Remarks: There is a single Canadian record, a female, in good condition, taken by R. Anderson on 9 July 1980 at Sandy Hook, Manitoba, an almost unbelievable migration record for this species.

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.