Arizona Naturalist >>> Sycamore Gallery Arthropods >>> Lepidoptera >>> Agraulis vanillae sp.

Gulf Fritillary

Agraulis vanillae

Gulf Fritillary on the wing in Madera Canyon, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed along a trail in lower Madera Canyon, Sta. Cruz Co., Arizona, USA. September 2010.

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There are a couple species of passion vine that grow naturally in moist canyon places in Arizona along the border. Gulf Fritillaries are capable of long distance flights and are supremely able to find these vines where they will lay eggs for the next generation. Gardeners in Tucson and Phoenix who plant spectacular passion vines will soon find the butterflies and the black and orange spiny caterpillars. Birds are repelled from eating either the larva or the adult butterfly because they contain toxic chemicals.

Nymphalidae -- Brush-footed Butterfly Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 8 July 2012