Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
The wings of this butterfly are like stained glass, artfully designed to maximize the beauty and light in a garden. The Gulf Fritillary is similar in size to the Monarch, but can be distinguished by the large grey patches on the underside of the wing. The wings are quite long and can gracefully carry this butterfly way out over the water in the Gulf region. Before full maturation, the chrysalis looks much like a hanging dead leaf yet the larvae are quite unique with a bright orange body decorated with dark spikes. This butterfly is richly colored orange with orderly dark spots in the center and along the edge of the wing. One of the most striking species, you will be glad your garden attracted this butterfly.