The Diana Fritillary

Speyeria diana

Speyeria diana
Photo: Dr. Thomas G. Barnes,

The range of the Diana Fritillary, Speyeria diana has undergone what Wells and Tonkyn* describe as a collapse. Today its range consists primarily of two upland populations: one in the southern Appalachians and one in the Arkansas-Oklahoma ‘highlands’. The lowland populations have disappeared including sites in lowland Virginia where it was first collected and the Ohio River Valley including Indiana. The last report of the Diana Fritillary in Indiana was from Perry County, Indiana in 1962.

This large butterfly has dimorphic males and females. Females mimic the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail. The Males are orange and white. The retreat to higher elevations may be a response to the warmer climate, the higher elevations generally experiencing lower temperatures.

*CARRIE N. WELLS and DAVID W. TONKYN. 2014. Range collapse in the Diana fritillary, Speyeria diana. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 7: 365–380.
doi: 10.1111/icad.12059

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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