|Gulf Fritillary Butterfly - Agraulis vanillae|
Family: Nymphalidae (brushfoot butterflies) / Subfamily Heliconiinae
Live gulf fritillaries photographed at Georgia and Cumberland County, North Carolina.
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Subfamily Heliconiinae - Heliconians and Fritillaries can be divided into 45-50 genera and were sometimes treated as a separate family (Heliconiidae) within the Papilionoidea.
The Gulf Fritillary is commonly seen in parks and gardens, as well as in open country. Its range extends from Argentina through Central America Mexico, and the West Indies to the southern United States, as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area on the west coast. It is occasionally found further north in the US.
Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars
Family Nymphalidae - Brushfoots or brush-footed butterflies encompass approximately 3,000 species worldwide, of which 160 or so live in or visit North America. This is a very diverse family of butterflies, and they occur everywhere except the polar ice caps. Their unifying characteristic is the reduced forelegs of both males and females. These vestigial forelegs are nearly useless for walking and give rise to the family's common name.
Learn to identify many of the American Midwest's common species through descriptions and large diagnostic photos of live, wild specimens.
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