The wings of the Gulf Fritillary are like stained glass. artfully designed to maximize the beauty and light in a garden. The Gulf Fritillary is similar in size to the Monarch, but can be distinguished by the large grey patches on the underside of the wing. The wingspan is quite large and can gracefully carry this butterfly way out over the water in the Gulf region. The Gulf Fritillary butterfly is richly colored orange with orderly dark spots in the center and along the edge of the wing. 

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly” by Ken Slade, licensed under (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Gulf Fritillary Facts

Butterfly Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Heliconiinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 2 1/2 – 3 3/4 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Pastures, open fields, second-growth subtropical forest and edges, and city gardens


Gulf Fritillary Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Various species of Passion-Vine including Maypops (Passiflora incarnata)

Nectar Plants:

  • Bee Balm
  • Blazing Star
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Lantana
  • Licorice Mint
  • Salvia
  • Stokes Aster
  • Zinnia