19 June 2015 – Great Spangled Fritillary

DSC00850Several individuals of this beautiful butterfly, called the Great Spangled Fritillary, were flying around the North Tract Contact Station this afternoon. They were feeding on the nectar of the Common Milkweed growing in the flower beds around the building.

 

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Its scientific name is Speyeria cybele. It ranges from Southern Canada and Northern California on the west to the Atlantic Coast on the east. It prefers woodland edges and moist meadows. Its larval host plant includes various species of Violets (Viola), which are common on the refuge. There are several accepted sub-species of Great Spangled Fritillary. I am not sure which one this is.

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