regal fritillary

(Speyeria idalia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

regal fritillary

NatureServe

N3 - Vulnerable

S3 - Vulnerable

Minnesota

Special Concern
Occurrence

Uncommon

Flight/Season

One brood: mid-June to early September.

Habitat

Tall grass prairie, wet fields, meadows, marshes.

Size

2 to 4 wingspan

   
    Photo by Dan W. Andree
 
Identification

 

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

In Minnesota, mostly prairie violet (Viola pedatifida var. pedatifida), but also birdfoot violet (Viola pedata) and possibly northern bog violet is (Viola nephrophylla).

 
Adult Food

Nectar from flowers of milkweed, thistle, red clover, and mountain mint.

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 6, 7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 71.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])

 

Family:

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)

 

Subfamily:

Heliconiinae (longwings, fritillaries and silverspots)

 

Tribe:

Argynnini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

regal fritillary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Dan W. Andree
       

On a Prairie Preserve in Minnesota...

Regal Fritillary mating SNA in Mn. Really interesting wing patterns on Regals. Also that bluish sheen they can have in certain lighting on the lower wing areas is pretty cool as well. I feel fortunate to have come across the Regal and have gained a lot of respect and admiration for these butterflies.

  regal fritillary
       

Female Regal Fritillary & Goldenrod Soldier Beetle....

...on a Thistle flower. Seen a lot of the Goldenrod Soldier Beetles but very few female Regal’s. Male Regal’s had pretty much died off. Noticed Monarch’s were fairly abundant throughout the preserve.

  regal fritillary
       

Interesting colored male ....

Regal Fritillary. This season the first I seen of any Regal Fritillary butterflies was early July. This image is from over a week later and not sure the exact date this male first emerged. Male Regal’s in particular fade in color with time. It doesn’t take that long of time either. I noticed earlier in July the males were more reddish orange with some not as reddish tinted as others. They almost glowed. Then they constantly seemed to patrol the prairie hovering above the prairie grasses etc. searching for any females that may have emerged. This male has started fading but had an interesting color tint before it would eventually fade to a dull varying grayish tan brown mix with shredded wings etc. Such short lives they live and how different they look from when they first emerge to when nearing the end of the Regal’s short life. The female Regal tends to live longer into the season due to laying her eggs. Both male and female Regal Fritillary are beautiful when in their prime of life. Certainly deserve preservation.

  regal fritillary
       

Male and Female Regal Fritillary...

I was real fortunate to capture the male regal after it recently emerged and feeding. Otherwise they seemed to just fly up and down the prairie areas looking for any emerged females. Hard to photograph or film then. Once in a while they land and either feed or rest but when they decide to do that is very unpredictable. Then the males go right back to looking for the female Regal. Also right now the majority of the males have faded with some shredded wings and nearing the end of their life. Stunning butterflies especially when they are just recently emerged and in the early stage of their very short lives. These were at a SNA in Minnesota. Seen more male Regal’s not that they were overly abundant or anything and only seen a couple female and at times none.

  regal fritillary
  regal fritillary
       

Mating Regal Fritillary.....

I was fortunate to come across a pair mating. I didn’t disturb them and they mainly sat stationary moving around slightly and once in a while opening and closing their wings. I filmed and photographed them since I am working on another regal fritillary video segment. I do not try to disturb anything in nature that I attempt to photograph or film. I figure most things in nature have enough struggles and disturbances in their lives. I will admit sometimes when walking through grasslands some insects, butterflies and even some birds can go unseen until you accidentally startled them to fly off or come into view. The mating regals were still in the same spot that day when I quietly and slowly backed away from them and left their area.

  regal fritillary
       

Regals are absolutely beautiful when they just emerge.

  regal fritillary    
     

Regal Fritillary & Monarch together...

Not the best lighting etc. for photography but one cannot pick the time or type of day when nature shows up. Kind of rare to see a Regal Fritillary and Monarch close enough to get them together in a photo. Aug. 2019 was the first time I ever seen a Regal Fritillary in my life. But both are beautiful butterflies, though I seen quite a few more Monarch’s than Regal Fritillary’s. Taken Aug. 16, 2019 at a Prairie Preserve in Norman county, Mn

  regal fritillary
       

Regal Fritillary...

The female was just taking flight. A “species of special concern” here in Minnesota. I found them to be a really interesting butterfly adding diversity and beauty to prairie areas. A Goldenrod Soldier beetle can also been seen on the flower. Seen many of them this past season. I came across this female Regal Fritillary during the second half of the month of August 2019 on a prairie in rural Norman Co. Mn.

  regal fritillary
       

Regal Fritillary - female

  regal fritillary    
       

Regal Fritillary female on...

Prairie Blazing Star flower. Filmed her too. Only seen 2 females and 1 male. The male just kept flying and wouldn’t land long enough. I did get a brief close look at the male and it was pretty nice compared to some scruffy ones I seen some weeks back.

  regal fritillary
       
Laura Baxley
       
  regal fritillary   regal fritillary
       
Dave Jungst
       

Female, Sept. 10, 2013

  regal fritillary   regal fritillary
       

Female, Sept. 18, 2014

  regal fritillary    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
  regal fritillary   regal fritillary
       
  regal fritillary    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
   
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Dan W. Andree
       
  The Regal Fritillary Butterfly" filmed by Dan W Andree 2019
Dec 24, 2019
 
   
 
About

A short video I put together after encountering the Regal Fritillary butterfly for the first time late summer 2019. From mid August to Sept. 1st. The video shows all female regals because that time of the year most males have died off or close to it, I read. I am no expert on this butterfly but did develop a soft spot for them. They seem to be struggling in areas. Perhaps next season I will do a revised version of this video and add the male and female in the earlier stage of their lives. But next season is a ways away so will just upload this short version. Hope you enjoy it.

   
       
Other Videos
 
  Regal Fritillary
pengelhard1
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 7, 2011

No description available.

   
       
  Regal Fritillary Butterfly lives in military impact area
Bob Smith
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 1, 2011

This rare insect lives at Fort Indiantown Gap, in central Pennsylvania, right in the middle of training areas. How does this work? Well, it does. I did this piece for National Guard Bureau Public affairs.

   
       
  Regal Fritillaries at Maxwell WA
kdwpinfo
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 24, 2010

Abundant regal fritillary butterflies show that the prairie habitat is in great shape at Maxwell Game Refuge near Canton. Visit KDWP wildlife areas for the best of the Kansas outdoors.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Dan W. Andree
Summer 2020

Location: Scientific and Natural Area in Norman Co. Mn.

...on a Thistle flower. Seen a lot of the Goldenrod Soldier Beetles but very few female Regal’s. Male Regal’s had pretty much died off. Noticed Monarch’s were fairly abundant throughout the preserve.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
7/19/2020

Location: a Scientific and Natural Area in Norman county, Mn.

Regal Fritillary. This season the first I seen of any Regal Fritillary butterflies was early July. This image is from over a week later and not sure the exact date this male first emerged. Male Regal’s in particular fade in color with time. It doesn’t take that long of time either. I noticed earlier in July the males were more reddish orange with some not as reddish tinted as others. They almost glowed. Then they constantly seemed to patrol the prairie hovering above the prairie grasses etc. searching for any females that may have emerged. This male has started fading but had an interesting color tint before it would eventually fade to a dull varying grayish tan brown mix with shredded wings etc. Such short lives they live and how different they look from when they first emerge to when nearing the end of the Regal’s short life. The female Regal tends to live longer into the season due to laying her eggs. Both male and female Regal Fritillary are beautiful when in their prime of life. Certainly deserve preservation.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
7/10/2020

Location: SNA in Mn

Regal Fritillary mating SNA in Mn. Really interesting wing patterns on Regals. Also that bluish sheen they can have in certain lighting on the lower wing areas is pretty cool as well. I feel fortunate to have come across the Regal and have gained a lot of respect and admiration for these butterflies.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
Early July 2020

Location: SNA in Minnesota

I was real fortunate to capture the male regal after it recently emerged and feeding. Otherwise they seemed to just fly up and down the prairie areas looking for any emerged females. Hard to photograph or film then. Once in a while they land and either feed or rest but when they decide to do that is very unpredictable. Then the males go right back to looking for the female Regal. Also right now the majority of the males have faded with some shredded wings and nearing the end of their life. Stunning butterflies especially when they are just recently emerged and in the early stage of their very short lives. These were at a SNA in Minnesota. Seen more male Regal’s not that they were overly abundant or anything and only seen a couple female and at times none.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
July 2020

Location: SNA in Mn.

I was fortunate to come across a pair mating. I didn’t disturb them and they mainly sat stationary moving around slightly and once in a while opening and closing their wings. I filmed and photographed them since I am working on another regal fritillary video segment. I do not try to disturb anything in nature that I attempt to photograph or film. I figure most things in nature have enough struggles and disturbances in their lives. I will admit sometimes when walking through grasslands some insects, butterflies and even some birds can go unseen until you accidentally startled them to fly off or come into view. The mating regals were still in the same spot that day when I quietly and slowly backed away from them and left their area.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
July 2020

Location: SNA in Norman Co. Mn.

Regals are absolutely beautiful when they just emerge.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
8/16/2019

Location: Norman Co. Mn.

Not the best lighting etc. for photography but one cannot pick the time or type of day when nature shows up. Kind of rare to see a Regal Fritillary and Monarch close enough to get them together in a photo. Aug. 2019 was the first time I ever seen a Regal Fritillary in my life. But both are beautiful butterflies, though I seen quite a few more Monarch’s than Regal Fritillary’s. Taken Aug. 16, 2019 at a Prairie Preserve in Norman county, Mn

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
August 2019

Location: Rural Norman Co. Mn.

The female was just taking flight. A “species of special concern” here in Minnesota. I found them to be a really interesting butterfly adding diversity and beauty to prairie areas. A Goldenrod Soldier beetle can also been seen on the flower. Seen many of them this past season. I came across this female Regal Fritillary during the second half of the month of August 2019 on a prairie in rural Norman Co. Mn.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
August 2019

Location: Rural Norman Co. Mn.

regal fritillary


Dan W. Andree
8/30/2019

Location: Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

Regal Fritillary female on...

Prairie Blazing Star flower. Filmed her too. Only seen 2 females and 1 male. The male just kept flying and wouldn’t land long enough. I did get a brief close look at the male and it was pretty nice compared to some scruffy ones I seen some weeks back.

regal fritillary


Laura Baxley
7/11/2018

Location: Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

regal fritillary


Dave Jungst
9/18/2014

Location: Pope County, Ben Wade Township, on a WPA

Female, Sept. 18, 2014

regal fritillary


Dave Jungst
9/10/2013

Location: Pope County, Chippewa Falls Township, near Terrace

Female, Sept. 10, 2013

regal fritillary


     
     
 
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