SUPPORT THE REGAL FRITILLARY (SPEYRIA IDALIA) AS IOWA’S OFFICIAL STATE BUTTERFLY
WHY THE REGAL FRITILLARY?
After reviewing all species found in the state of Iowa, the Regal Fritillary rose to the top because it is:
- native to Iowa and found statewide
- a large identifiable species
- common to prairie which is Iowa’s native biome
- listed as a species of concern in Iowa
- and has a unique and educational lifecycle
- not being used as a state symbol by any other states
In the fall the females lay eggs in the tallgrass prairie near their host plants, which are various types of violets. The violets have already died back for winter and must be found via a chemical compound left by the violets. Eggs hatch in late fall. First instar caterpillars eat the remains of their eggs and nothing else until spring. In early spring caterpillars eat the violet leaves and go through 6 instars, not the normal 5 like other butterflies. The caterpillars molt forming their pupae where they’ll stay for 15 days. Adults emerge in early summer. After mating, females go into summer dormancy until fall and lay their eggs.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Contact your local legislatures and encourage them to support the regal fritillary as Iowa’s official state butterfly. www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators House Joint Resolution 7 (HJR7)
CLICK HERE to download a Regal Fritillary life cycle poster.
CLICK HERE to download a Regal Fritillary call to action poster.
CLICK HERE to view the House Joint Resolution to make the Regal Fritillary Iowa’s Official State Butterfly.
Photo Caption: Male Regal Fritillary by Richard_Stilwell