New Jersey Butterflies

Gulf Fritillary

Agraulis vanillae

Identification: Medium—2.8" (a little smaller than Great Spangled Fritillary, and with narrower wings). Above: FW and HW bright orange/red with limited black marks and a few small, white-filled, black spots on FWs. Below: HW brownish with many elongated silvery spots; orange flush shows on FW, which has silvery spots toward tip.

NJ Status and Distribution: Vagrant. A southern species that rarely strays north to NJ. Reported from Cape May County, 7/17-8/10/02 [multiple sightings of same individual], 7/13/08, 8/16/11, 9/24/11; Ocean County, 8/13/11.

: NJ Range Map-Gulf Fritillary

Habitat: Usually seen in gardens with Passionflower.

Flight Period: Best chance to see one is in summer and fall.

Larval Food Plants: Passion Flowers (Passiflora spp.)

Overwintering Stage: Larva, but does not overwinter in NJ.

Best Locations: Gardens around Cape May Point.

Comments: A magnificent butterfly that is a real show stopper. Observations (especially with photo documentation) of this species should be provided to the NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club.



Gulf Fritillary

Bentsen SP, TX, 10/20/02.


Gulf Fritillary

National Butterfly Pk., TX, 9/12/07


Gulf Fritillary

Beachwood, Ocean Co., NJ, 8/13/11 on Zinnia


Gulf Fritillary

Beachwood, Ocean Co., NJ, 8/13/11 on Zinnia