They fly in the same fields as do Great Spangled Fritillaries. Much fewer in number and smaller than the sizable Great Spangleds, I’m always happy to find an Aphrodite Fritillary. Those we’ve photographed are less skittish than Great Spangleds and easier to approach. When we get the opportunity, those solitary forewing markings closer to the body clinch the ID.
A very purposeful flier, Speyeria aphrodite’s flight is from flower to flower with little wasted motion. Our example here is quite stunning, with little or no wing damage. Like the Great Spangleds, their hindwings quickly show rips and tears caused by predators. They’re alight now. We’ve had a mild winter here east of the Mississippi, and our butterflies have made early appearances. So find a field with milkweed, dogbane, butterflyweed, thistle and teasel and look forward to the possibility of enjoying an Aphrodite.
If you own a large lot with trees, you probably also have little violets growing near the trees. Aphrodites and other Frits lay their eggs on or near these violets. When Fall arrives, Frit caterpillars spend the winter hidden in the leaf litter under your trees. So if you rake away your leaves when winter ebbs/ends, you are robbing your neighborhood/habitat of future Frit butterflies. Alternative? Wait a bit later to rake the leaf litter in your patch of trees.