Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Boisduval's Spangled Fritillary
Speyeria callippe  BOISDUVAL, 1852
subfamily - HELICONIINAE
subtribe -
Speyeria callippe, Alberta, Canada Martin Gascoigne-Pees
There are 16 species in the genus Speyeria, all of which are found in the USA. Only 2 species have ranges that extend beyond the USA - hydaspe which reaches Canada, and nokomis which reaches central Mexico.
All Speyeria species are large and noble butterflies. Males of most taxa have bright golden-orange uppersides marked with black spots, and dark streaks of androconial scales along the veins of the forewings. In females the ground colour is more subdued, typically pale buff coloured with a slight greenish tinge. In both sexes the underside forewings are similar to the uppersides. The underside hindwings of most species are adorned with numerous large silver spangles.
Speyeria callippe occurs in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the north-western states of the USA. There are 20 named subspecies.
This species breeds in dry woodland, sagebrush, chaparral, open high grasslands, flowery hillsides and mountain slopes, and in clearings and large glades within coniferous or deciduous woodlands.
The egg is pale yellow when first laid but soon changes to a pinkish brown colour. It is laid singly on dry stems or among leaf litter in the vicinity of the larval foodplants, often under bushes. The larva hatches in late summer and immediately enters hibernation. It awakens in early spring and feeds on tender young leaves of Viola ( Violaceae ). The fully grown larva is greyish, marbled with black, and with orange or black spikes according to subspecies. The pupa is whitish with black markings, and is suspended by the cremaster from a woody stem or twig in the shade of a bush or tree.
Adult behaviour
Males imbibe mineralised moisture from the ground. Both sexes nectar at a wide range of plants, but are particularly fond of Cirsium, Carduus, Rubus and Senecio flowers.
Speyeria callippe, Alberta, Canada Martin Gascoigne-Pees


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