The Gulf Fritillary deserves recognition as the most common representative to the United States of the tropical longwing butterflies (Heliconians.) Like the Monarch, the Fritillary wears bright warning colors, has a life cycle that can be watched in the backyard (if you live where its food grows), and is large and beautiful enough to get the attention of anyone. The Passion vine, the fritillary’s host plant, grows with the zest of tropical plants and displays extravagant purple flowers. The butterfly is almost tame living in backyards, and allowing you to get very close with slow and steady movements.
This summer and fall, I have been lucky enough to capture much of the Gulf Fritillary's life cycle with my camera, thanks to the passion vine I planted this spring. Many of the following photos were included in previous posts, but collectively they create a mini story of the Gulf Fritillaries in my yard.
|First I planted a Passion vine, and up it goes.|
|Little golden egg|
|Good luck little egg.|
|Time to eat|
|Once I counted over 70 caterpillars!|
|Look at that warning color. Don't eat me!|
|A hidden chrysalis looks like a dry leaf.|
|All the Leaves are gone|
|Zinnas are great for hungry Butterflies.|
|On the Wing|