Western Steep Fritillary Butterfly
The butterfly members of this Order of insects include the popular and usually colorful species. Butterfly groups include monarchs, satyrs, dagerwings, leaf-wings, owls, buckeyes, admirals, checkerspots, crecents, fritillaries, heliconids, riodinids, blues, hairstreaks, coppers, whites, orange-tips, sulphurs and swallowtails.
An early morning trek to a specific meadow in the Owens Valley of California provided a glimpse at this indigenous subspecies population of Western Steep Fritillary. The cool early morning mountain air slow down these beautiful fritillary butterflies as they sip nectar from thistles. These butterflies exhibit sexual dimorphism meaning the male and female butterflies look different. This orange form is the male and was abundant in comparison to the black and yellow-green females. Caterpillars feed on blue violet and over winter shortly after hatching. Adults have a single brood each year and fly from June to September.