Adapted from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter of June 9, 2007
issued from Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve,
QUERÉTARO, MÉXICO

MEXICAN FRITILLARY
IN THE FROGFRUIT

I've told you about the flowering frogfruit mantling the former mudflats that now are high and dry, and inhabited by countless tiny frogs. The frogfruit flats continue being the very best place to see lots of butterflies. This week I was trying to sneak up on a rarely appearing species so I could photograph it. It flew away, but another pretty species flitted right into focus, so I'll introduce you to him instead.

He was a Mexican Fritillary, EUPTOIETA HEGESIA, one of the many Brush-footed Butterflies of the Nymphalidae, and you can see his pretty orange-and-black pattern below:

Mexican Fritillary, EUPTOIETA HEGESIA

You can confirm my identification by matching pictures, see what the species' chrysalis looks like, note how far the species extends into the US, and read about its behavior and foods at the wonderful, newly reconstituted Butterflies & Moths of North America site at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species?l=1673.

On that page note that the first two foods listed for adult Mexican Fritillaries are Lantana and Stachytarpheta. Both of those genera are members of the Verbena Family, which agrees very nicely with my finding them so abundantly in the frogfruit, which belongs to the genus Phyla, an honored member of the Verbena Family.