Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Greater Fritillaries or Silverspots, Speyeria [=Argynnis] (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

  • James C. Dunford
  • Kelly R. Sims
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1178

Speyeria scudder (Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae: Argynnini), commonly known as greater fritillaries or silverspots, are medium to large butterflies (wingspans of 40–90 mm) that represent conspicuous members of North American Lepidoptera. The genus was named in honor of a German entomologist, Adolph Speyer, who specialized in butterfly studies. The origin of the common name “fritillaries” is obscure, and one explanation is that these butterflies resemble the lily genus Fritillaria. Typically orange and black or brown in color, most are recognized by distinctive black spots and bars on the dorsal wing surface and silvery or cream-colored spots located on the ventral surface of the hind wings.

Speyeriafritillaries are restricted to North America (absent in southeastern regions of the United States and all but northern Mexico), although morphologically similar genera exist in other temperate parts of the world and together may be considered the temperate-zone counterpart to tropical...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Dunford
    • 1
  • Kelly R. Sims
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA