|scientific name Speyeria cybele |
common name Great Spangled Fritillary
Aspen parkland, shrubby prairie coulees, open woods of the fotthills and southern boreal.
One flight per year, most common in early to late July.
Our largest fritillary, usually with a wingspan over 65 mm. Unlike some of the other fritillaries, cybele is relatively easy to distinguish by the contrasty, dark basal half of the dorsal hindwing; the basal dark area is smaller and more diffuse in other Speyeria. Cybele also lacks the black, angled spot nearest the anal margin on the dorsal forewing base.
Two well-defined subspecies occur in Alberta, pseudocarpenteri inhabiting the parkland and northern prairies, and leto of the southern foothills and prairies. Leto has brighter orange males with smaller upperside dark markings and striking, straw and charcoal females.
Unrecorded in Alberta. The pale yellow eggs are laid near or on the host plant. First instar larvae hibernate without feeding. Mature larvae are velvety black with two pale-spotted subdorsal lines and covered with black branched spines, and feed only at night (Scott 1986).
Not of concern.
Larvae reportedly feed on a number of violet (Viola) species (Scott 1986). It is not known which species are used in western Canada.
Southern BC and central Alberta east across southern Canada and the central US to the Atlantic seaboard (Scott 1986). A disjunct population in the Peace River region of AB / BC is the northernmost in North America.
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