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Nokomis Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria nokomis)

Natural History

Though fritillary butterflies in the genus Speyeria are difficult to tell apart, the Nokomis Fritillary Butterfly  is an orange butterfly with dark brown spots on the tops of the wings and a pattern of dark brown crecents and white spots on the underside of the wings. It has a dark brown to orange body and a wing span up to 3 inches.

A population of blue Nokomis Fritilarry Butterflies was previously found in the Santa Catalina Mountains, but they have not been seen since 1938 and are assumed to be extinct. The blue variant may still be found in northern Mexico.

The Nokomis Fritillary Butterfly is found in eastern Arizona as well as in CA, NC, UT, CO and NM. The butterflies prefer to live near water in wet meadows, marshes and in mountains.

Females lay their eggs on the ground in the fall near the butterflies host plant (violets). The eggs hatch and the larvae hibernate throughout the winter. In the spring they feed on the leaves of violets before pupating. Butterflies emerge to fly between August - October.

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