Agraulis vanillae: Gulf Fritillary butterfly

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The Gulf Fritillary or Passion Butterfly, Agraulis vanillae, is a striking, bright orange butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, subfamily HeliconiinaeHeliconiini. It is not closely related to the true fritillaries. Agraulis vanillae is a medium to large butterfly, with a wingspan of 6–9.5 cm [2.4–3.7 in]. Its underwings are buff, with large silvery spots. It takes its name from migrating flights of the butterflies sometimes seen over the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Gulf Fritillary butterfly is commonly seen in parks and gardens, as well as in open country. Its range extends from Argentina through Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean to the southern United States, as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area on the west coast and occasionally found farther north in the US.

Photos: Atlanta, GA, USA [20120821]

Source: Wikipedia

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