Gulf Fritillary

Agraulis vanillae

The Gulf Fritillary is a rare stray to Wisconsin, having been reported from only three counties. This species is mainly a southern species in the United States, but can be found throughout Mexico, Central American, and South America down to Argentina.

Weekly sightings for Gulf Fritillary

Identifying characteristics

The Gulf Fritillary has long thin wings compared to the other Fritillaries. Above, the wings are a bright orange with various black spots, several of which, near the leading edge of the forewing have white spots inside. Below, the wings are orange with oblong silvery spots throughout the hindwing and at the tip of the forewing. The black spots with a white center spot that can be seen above can also be seen below on the forewing.

Similar species

When seen from below it resembles the larger Fritillaries with the silver spots, but when is wings are open, the much longer and thinner wings easily distinguish this species.


Open areas, parks, and gardens.


This species is a rare stray in Wisconsin and most likely would be spotted during July and August.


Rarely encountered as far north as Wisconsin.


Map showing sighting locations for Gulf Fritillary
Map key
Gulf FritillaryClick to enlarge

Just off Hwy 1A, North of Fort Pierce, FL, March 21, 2005.

Gulf FritillaryClick to enlarge

Laying eggs on passion vine

Crooked Garden, Pelican Preserve, Fort Myers, FL. December 27, 2009.

Gulf FritillaryClick to enlarge

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, FL. December 30, 2009.

Gulf Fritillary

© 2003 David Reese, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Gulf Fritillary

© 2003 David Reese, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina