GREAT SPANGLED FRITILLARY & MEADOW FRITILLARY
The butterfly at left is a Meadow Fritillary. Meadow Fritillaries are only about half the size of their larger cousins, the Great Spangled Fritillaries. However, Meadow Fritillaries have a longer flight period, stretching from late April through October.
Meadow Fritillaries can appear either reddish or golden-orange. They prefer wet meadows and prairies. There is a healthy population of Meadow Fritillaries at Huffman Prairie, and I have seen them at a few other locations (mostly around wet meadows and riverbanks).
Ventral view of a Meadow Fritillary. A ghostly white crab spider is sneaking up on him, but I am happy to report that the butterfly flew off before the spider nabbed him.
Great Spangled Fritillary. This species is very fond of milkweed flowers. The individual at left is nectaring on butterfly weed. Great Spangled Fritillaries love open, sunny areas, particularly prairies and meadows.
Great Spangled Fritillaries are most common in June and July. However, a few individuals can persist into early September.
Ventral view of a Great Spangled Fritillary, nectaring on butterfly weed. Great Spangled Fritillaries are usually wary around people and can be difficult to approach closely.