Aphrodite Fritillary

Speyeria aphrodite

The Aphrodite Fritillary is found throughout the state during much of July and August with the Great Spangled Fritillary. Both species are long-lived and occur in many of the same habitats. When they are both flying around it is difficult to determine what species are present, but because they readily find a nectar source and stop to feed it makes it much easier on the watcher to determine what species they are observing.

It gets somewhat more confusing farther north where the Atlantis Fritillary sometimes makes it a trio of free-flying Fritillaries. All three species are some of our larger, more conspicuous species, and in field full of nectar sources these butterflies can be quite a spectacle. In one field in Portage County, in a large patch of common Milkweed in flower, I saw over 75 Fritillaries. I tried to take some photos to document this, but I found out it is much easier to get a photo of a solitary butterfly than a group of them.

Weekly sightings for Aphrodite Fritillary

Identifying characteristics

Above, the Aphrodite Fritillary is orange with a variety of black markings. Below, this species is somewhat variable in Wisconsin, but is orange with many silvery spots. In some Aphrodite Fritillaries the hindwing is very dark and has almost no discernible light submarginal band, whereas other individuals may have a distinct light submarginal band like the Atlantis Fritillary.

Similar species

In southern Wisconsin, where the Atlantis Fritillary doesn’t occur, this species can be distinguished from the Liquid error: undefined method `insect_type’ for nil:NilClass by the lack of the wide light submarginal band on the hindwing. Above, the Aphrodite is usually lighter, and has a black spot near the base of the upper forewing that the Great Spangled Fritillary lacks. In the north the Atlantis Fritillary has a very dark border that is lacking in the Aphrodite Fritillary, and almost always has a distinct light submarginal band, which is narrower than the Great Spangled Fritillary’s.

Habitat

Open fields and woodland edges. Can be found in both wet and dry habitats.

Flight

One brood. Has been observed from mid-June until early September.

Abundance

Common throughout Wisconsin. This species is undoubtedly found in all counties.

Late Aphrodite Fritillary Sightings

Date County Reported by
Sep 17, 2011 Marquette Dan Sonnenberg
Sep 19, 2011 Waushara Mike Reese
Sep 19, 2011 Marquette Dan Sonnenberg
Sep 19, 2011 Wood Ron Arnold
Sep 26, 2014 Adams Scott and Ann Swengel

Locations

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

Plainfield TriCounty School Forest, Waushara Co., WI, August 24, 2005.

Aphrodite FritillaryClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 10, 2004.

Aphrodite FritillaryClick to enlarge

Buena Vista Marsh, Portage Co., WI, June 29, 2005.

Aphrodite FritillaryClick to enlarge

Buena Vista Marsh, Portage Co., WI, June 24, 2005.

Aphrodite FritillaryClick to enlarge

Ice Age Trail, off Emmons Creek Rd., Waupaca Co., WI, July 25, 2004.

Aphrodite FritillaryClick to enlarge

Buena Vista Marsh, Portage Co., WI, June 27, 1999.