Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in NYMPHALIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameGreat Spangled Fritillary by Emily Parisher => Mayo River State Park, 2006-05-19
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameArgynnis cybele
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Throughout the mountains, and nearly throughout the Piedmont, though scarce to locally absent in the southeastern Piedmont. In the Coastal Plain (where essentially not a resident species), it has been found only at a few sites near the Piedmont and the northern Coastal Plain. It could perhaps be a breeding resident in a few far northern Coastal Plain counties, as it is a resident over nearly all of VA; however, it certainly is only a visitor/stray in the Sandhills region of the southwestern Coastal Plain. Even in very well-worked Wake County, in the eastern Piedmont, no resident sites are known.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Common to locally abundant in the mountains, being more common in the northern mountains than near GA. In the Piedmont, fairly common to locally common along the northern tier of counties east to Halifax County; however, it is uncommon in the central Piedmont, being especially scarce in the southeastern Piedmont, where it is perhaps absent as a breeding species in a few counties. It is essentially just a stray/vagrant, however, in the Coastal Plain, as there have not been "repeatable" sightings at any location where initially seen.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: A single brood, but an extensive spread of dates; mid-May to mid-October, rarely later. Whether the peaks and valleys shown on the flight charts are real is not known, but there does seem to be a "burst" of flight activity for the first month of the flight period. It is suspected that some aestivation of individuals occurs in midsummer, especially in July.
HabitatHABITAT: This is an open-country species, being most common in meadows, especially along streams through pastures, in the mountains. It is also found in various weedy fields, clearcuts, thickets, woodland borders, and (less commonly) in woodland openings.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional Fields and Forblands
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Foodplants are violets (Viola spp.) of various species. This species is commonly seen nectaring; milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are favored, but Joe-pye-weeds (Eutrochium spp.), ironweeds (Vernonia spp.), Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), and other tall herbs or shrubs are often used, especially those of moist meadows or open streamsides.
CommentsCOMMENTS: This is one of the more frequently seen and "obvious" butterflies in the mountains. The Fall Line forms the edge of the species' (resident status) range, and thus it is not too surprising that the species is not common in the southeastern Piedmont and might be absent as a breeder in a few counties. However, it can be occasionally common as far east as Warren and Halifax counties, along the VA border.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
SynonymSpeyeria cybele
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Great Spangled Fritillary
Photo by: Brian Bockhahn
Comment: Falls Lake State Recreation Area, 2002-Aug-17
Great Spangled Fritillary - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Great Spangled Fritillary - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Katharine Hale
Comment: Ashe Co., 2008-06-19. nectaring on Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)
Great Spangled Fritillary - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Comment: May 31, 2014. Cabarrus Co.
Great Spangled Fritillary - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Comment: June 8, 2013. Mecklenburg Co., Abersham
Great Spangled Fritillary - Click to enlarge