Which butterfly’s name do I usually flub? This one. The Variegated Fritillary butterfly. Not sure why the name doesn’t stick in my brain. I remember lots of stuff, going way back to Brooklyn in the ’50’s. We had a street loaded with kids my age. I once counted how many boys on East 58th Street were between 1.5 years order than me and 1.5 years younger than me. 40. For that reason it was easy to get a game of punchball going, or defend East 58th from marauding kids from other streets. I remember their names, mostly, still.
When this butterfly flies in, I usually fumble around in my brain for the word “Variegated.” Fritillary? That’s easy, but Variegated fritillary? It gets embarrassing when someone’s around, and turns to me for an ID. I’ll usually respond with, “was that [name a famous, attractive actress] who just biked past us?” Then up pops that word on my lips, ‘Variegated.’
Found from Massachusetts to Oklahoma, its only rarely seen in the U.S. northwest.
When it’s fresh, like this one at Black Water National Wildlife Refuge in Madison, Maryland, it’s an eyeful.