|scientific name Speyeria aphrodite |
common name Aphrodite Fritillary
Prairie grasslands and dry, open woods in the parkland and southern boreal region.
One yearly flight peaking in late July to mid August.
Similar and likely to be confused with the Atlantis (S. atlantis) and Northwestern (S. hesperis) fritillaries; all three have a dark- to light brown hindwing underside "disc" (the dark, basal two-thirds of the wing). Aphrodite and Atlantis can usually be separated by habitat alone, since Atlantis prefers moist, mixed-wood forest, while aphrodite is mainly a prairie species. Where these two overlap in the southern boreal forests, Atlantis is larger with a dark chocolate-brown hindwing disc. Aphrodite differ from Northwestern males in lacking the prominent dark scaling along the dorsal forewing veins, giving Aphrodite an overall brighter orange look. Females of aphrodite and hesperis do not exhibit consistent external differences, but aphrodite females differ from all other Alberta Speyeria (except S. cybele) in having a two- rather than one-chambered bursa copulatrix (Scott 1986). The genus Speyeria presents a challenge to the beginner and experienced alike, and differences are best appreciated by comparing series of specimens.
Egg initially cream-coloured, turning darker. Mature larva dark brown with spines and a black dorsal line (Scott 1986). Unfed, first instar larvae hibernate (Scott 1986).
Not of concern in Alberta.
The eggs are laid at the base of violet plants (Viola sp.), the larval hostplant in BC (Guppy & Shepard 2001). Adults commonly visit flowers, but have not been ovserved nectaring in the Peace River Grasslands (Guppy & Shepard 2001).
Central B.C. east to Nova Scotia and south to New Mexico and northern Georgia (Scott 1986). The northermost populations occur in the Peace River Grasslands of Alberta / BC.
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