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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Image contributed by U.S.
photographer Jenn Taggart
Euptoieta claudia are a large fritillary that flies in the south primarily from April to October, and in the north in the summer and early fall.
They are considered monomorphic, as males and females are similar in appearance.
When their wings are open, their dorsal sides are orange and black in a checkered pattern. Their hindwings have a row of submarginal dark spots along with dark lines running across the wings.
The ventral forewings have an orange base color with a pale orange spot bordered in black on each.
The hindwings have a pale band, and mottled browns and grays.
They prefer open sunlit areas, such as fields, meadows, pastures, etc.
They fly in very slow and inconsistent patterns, and they have a life expectancy as adults, of approximately a month.
Their name was derived from the Greek word "euptoietos", which translates to "easlly scared" which is very appropriate given their nature.
As members of the Nymphalidae (Brush Footed) family, they use their shorter pair of front legs for food smelling and tasting, and their two pairs of longer rear legs for propulsion.
Diet: Adults take nectar from butterflyweed, common milkweed, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, swamp milkweed, and tickseed sunflower
Avg. winspan: 4.4 - 5.7 cm / 1.75 - 2.25"
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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