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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Great Basin Fritillary
Speyeria egleis  BEHR, 1862
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - HELICONIINAE
Tribe - ARGYNNINI
subtribe -
Speyeria egleis male Frank Model
Introduction
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 egleis occurs as 13 named subspecies, found variously in Washington, California, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Nevada.
Habitats
This species breeds on open mountainsides with sparse vegetation, and also in glades in deciduous or coniferous woodlands.
Lifecycle
The egg is laid singly in the vicinity of the larval foodplants. The caterpillar 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-brown with a yellow dorsal stripe with a dark line down the centre. The dorsal spikes are white, and the lateral spikes are yellow. All the spikes are tipped with black.
Adult behaviour
Males imbibe from puddles and damp patches of ground. Both sexes nectar at a variety of flowers, but particularly favour Eupatorium and Aster.
 

 

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