The Aphrodite fritillary butterfly is one of the most unique and beautiful fritillary butterflies to learn about. There are 10 subspecies of this species of butterfly. These subspecies include the S. a. alcestis, S. a. columbia, S. a. manitoba, S. a. winni, S. a. byblis, S. a. ethene, and S. a. whitehousei subspecies. All these subspecies have only one brood per year. They are all native to North America as well. The orange or reddish-brown coloration of the wing of this butterfly is another similarity between these subspecies. They are all from the genus Speyeria. They feed on nectar from milkweed as well as the nectar of other plants. Apart from nectar, they might also feed on plant leaves.
They are very similar to the great spangled fritillary. However, the two should not be confused. They can be distinguished by observing their physical appearance. The Aphrodite is known to be lighter in weight. Aphrodite fritillaries also have a black spot at the lower tip of their hind wings which is missing in the great spangled fritillary. Keep on reading to know more about the Aphrodite fritillary and how it differs from other species.
The United States of America, Nova Scotia, Canada, Georgia, the Great Lakes, Arizona
Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly?
The Aphrodite fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite) is a type of butterfly.
What class of animal does an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly belong to?
The Aphrodite fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite) belongs to the class Insecta.
How many Aphrodite fritillary butterflies are there in the world?
An accurate population of the Aphrodite fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite) is not yet recorded. It is, however, known that these butterflies are quite rare. Very few sightings of the Aphrodite fritillary butterfly (Speyeria aphrodite) are recorded per year. In North America, observers are able to spot only a couple of Speyeria aphrodite butterflies each year. In New York, they can be spotted from the end of June, through July, until September. Hence, it can be assumed that this species of butterflies is not very heavily populated.
Where does an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly live?
The Aphrodite fritillary butterfly (Speyeria aphrodite), belonging to the genus Speyeria, is a native species of North America. The United States and the country of Canada are home to this species. Within the United States of America, Aphrodite fritillaries can be found mainly in the eastern parts. On the other hand, it is the southern regions of Canada that are home to this species of butterflies. Within this range, they can most often be spotted in Nova Scotia, Washington, Georgia, and Arizona. The former two locations comprise the northern range of Aphrodite fritillaries, while the latter couple of places mark their southern range. Further, three out of 10 subspecies of the Speyeria aphrodite are native to the region of the Great Lakes.
What is an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly's habitat?
As larvae, this species resides near violet plants (Viola fimbriatula). Violets are the main plants where the larvae thrive. As a characteristic, this species is known to pollinate plants like milkweed. Hence, their habitat includes a range where plants like violet and milkweed can be found in abundance. The habitat of both adults and larvae includes prairies, forests or scrublands, banks of rivers and streams, dry fields, brushlands, mountains, meadows, grasslands, and also bogs. Their habitat falls under terrestrial and temperate zones. This species also prefers a habitat that is close to an agricultural region.
Who does an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly live with?
Not much is known about the social nature of the Speyeria aphrodite. It has not yet been recorded whether they are solitary creatures, or live in groups. However, most butterflies are solitary animals. This means that they prefer to live alone. This being said, it is true that the monarch butterfly tends to live in groups. At times butterflies can be seen migrating in huge groups. A group of butterflies is termed a roost. A butterfly is also known to be friendly towards humans.
How long does an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly live?
The estimated lifespan of the Speyeria aphrodite is about a year. Their lifespan is assumed to be about a year because they reproduce after almost a year of their birth, and consequently die after the process of reproduction.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding season begins in the summer months for these North American insects. However, the female fritillary lays eggs during the months of August and September. This species finds mates at the base of valleys. The males fly around in search of a suitable mate during the daytime. This occurs through the months of May, June, July, and August until September. Females join this flight in search of a mate about seven days later. Right after they emerge, the mating procedure begins in spite of the fact that the females are devoid of sexual maturity in the months of May, June, and July. They are only able to reproduce during August and September, after becoming sexually mature. The exact mating procedure of the Speyeria aphrodite remains unknown. In other butterflies in the Speyeria genus, it is seen that males approach females and flap their wings so that their pheromones can be sensed by the females. Signs of rejection from the female can be perceived when she keeps flapping her wings as a response.
Every year a new generation of this species is welcomed into the world. Although an accurate number of eggs laid by females is not known, several species of the Speyeria genus are known to lay hundreds of eggs. The Speyeria aphrodite, in particular, lays one egg per day on violets (Viola fimbriatula) which act as host plants. At this point, the violet plants (Viola fimbriatula) are old and almost dying and hence they are perfect host plants. Interestingly, the female holds the fertilized eggs in her body until she finds a suitable spot to lay them. They lay their eggs near plants that can be possible food sources for the larvae. Only one brood is laid each year.
What is their conservation status?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List is yet to mark this North American species and thus they are currently Not Evaluated. Research says that their population does not face any risk of becoming endangered or extinct as of now.
Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly Fun Facts
What do Aphrodite fritillary butterflies look like?
The Aphrodite fritillary butterfly is a beautiful species. Its body is brown-black in color and it is adorned with brown stripes. The wings are a mixture of red, orange, and brown. The wings are also covered in black spots. In the forewings, each black spot has an outer black ring. Beneath the hindwings, there are silver touches. Both the forewings and hindwings are bordered in a pale color. They have dull, green-yellow eyes.
How cute are they?
This North American species is a cute bunch. They look very beautiful with their colorful wings similar to painted lady butterflies. Their tiny and slender bodies only add to their cute appearance.
How do they communicate?
The major modes of communication seen among Aphrodite fritillaries include the senses of touch and sight. They also have the ability to communicate through chemical signals. Pheromones also play a vital role in communication. With the help of pheromones, male adults try to form a mating bond with female adults. Moreover, female adults find a suitable site to lay their eggs on suitable host plants using pheromones.
How big is an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly?
Adults of this species have a wingspan that is 1.9-3.3 in (48-84 mm) long. This is about double the wingspan of a ladybug.
How fast can an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly fly?
The accurate speed at which Aphrodite fritillaries fly is not known. Most butterflies are known to have a flight speed of 37 mph (59.5 kph).
How much does an Aphrodite fritillary butterfly weigh?
Since this species is a relatively small insect, they have a negligible weight which is not measured.
What are their male and female names of the species?
There are no separate names for male and female butterflies of the species. They are simply called a male Aphrodite fritillary butterfly and a female Aphrodite fritillary butterfly.
What would you call a baby Aphrodite fritillary butterfly?
A baby butterfly in the form of eggs is called a larva. On the other hand, it is called a pupa or a chrysalis during its transitional state from a caterpillar.
What do they eat?
As larvae, this species can feed on the leaves of host violet plants (Viola fimbriatula). Adults, on the other hand, thrive on nectar from milkweed. They also feed on a variety of weeds and plants like red clover, thistle, pea plant, mint, and more. They also get some of their nutrition from animal excretion.
Are they poisonous?
There have been no records of this species being poisonous. Butterflies in general are not known to be so poisonous that they can pose harm to other animals, including humans. However, certain African species of butterfly are poisonous; their poison can even be used on arrowheads.
Would they make a good pet?
Yes, this species can make a good pet for a short time like any other species of butterfly. They need a herbivorous diet with different kinds of vegetation. This species also needs a vast space to fly in. If these needs are met, they can make good pets.
Did you know...
Aphrodite fritillaries are a species of butterfly that flies in the direction of sunlight. This is done in order to maintain a warm body temperature and is known as solar positivity.
The Aphrodite fritillary caterpillar
After the female butterfly lays eggs in the form of larvae, these larvae become caterpillars. They feed on leaves of various species of violet plants. Each caterpillar has a long, black body and its segments are separated by yellow or black bristles. During the winter months they hibernate (to allow them to grow) and then they come back out during spring. Following this, they enter their transitional phase of being a pupa or a chrysalis after which they turn into adult Aphrodite fritillaries.
Atlantis vs Aphrodite fritillary butterflies
The Atlantis butterfly differs from the Aphrodite fritillary butterfly in appearance. Both males and females of the Aphrodite fritillary species have brown eyes, which differ from the eyes of the Atlantis butterfly. The Aphrodite also has reddish-orange color at the base of its lower wing as well as an orange scaly texture on top of the frontal wing. These colorations are absent in the Atlantis butterfly.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.