Variegated Fritillary Butterfly; Euptoieta claudia

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Variegated Fritillary Euptoieta claudia

Host plants include passionvine, violets, and pansies.
The Variegated Fritillary is recorded by in every state except Washington.
Few counties in Oregon, Idaho, and northern California report this butterfly.
(Although South Carolina also does not show many traces of this butterfly, the fact that it is so prolific in surrounding states
causes one to wonder if it simply has not been reported yet is found in South Carolina.)
Variegated Fritillary butterfly (Euptoieta claudia)
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly laying eggs.
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly eggs.
Variegated Fritillary
Laying eggs on passionvine
Eggs are shaped like an upside down cone.
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) caterpillar.
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly late instar large caterpillar.
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly chrysalis pupa.
A young caterpillar.
An older caterpillar
The chrysalis is metallic.
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) butterfly chrysalises pupae.
Gulf Fritillary caterpillar larva eating passionvine.
Before the butterfly emerges the chrysalis shell turns clear and the wings can be seen through the shell.
A Gulf Fritillary caterpillar does not have white specks on its sides.
The Variegated Fritillary caterpillar is noticably different than the Gulf Fritillary caterpillar due to the white spots on its sides. Usually found lower on passionvine plants than Gulf Fritillaries, they are easily missed due to the fact that they drop to the ground in a tight ball when their plant is disturbed. In cool weather, this caterpillar may take a couple of months to grow in order to pupate.