Friday, September 23, 2011

Gulf Fritillary: Life Cycle of a Butterfly

The Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) is a common butterfly here in Southwest Florida.  
Early this spring I planted a Passion Flower vine to attract them to our backyard.  This has been extremely successful and I have watched the entire life cycle of this beautiful member of the Nymphalidae family.

Here is a courting couple.

Soon they were a mating pair.

The Fritillary's preferred larval food plant is the Passion Flower vine (Passiflora incarnata).

The female ovipositing eggs on the Passion Flower leaves.

The eggs are quite easy to spot.

The first instars are quite small but they grow larger quickly.

The chrysalis or cocoon.

Finally the emerging butterfly who will start the cycle again.

Butterfly garden really is fun and easy.  You too can have your very own butterfly farm!!!


  1. beautyful pictures , thanks Barbara

  2. We have this whole life cycle going on in our patio! 12 Butterflies!