Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae )


Gulf Fritillary caterpillar on a Common Passionflower

The Gulf Fritillary Butterfly has bright orange wings with black markings around the border and three black-rimmed white spots on each forewing.  The average wingspan is 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches (63 - 95 mm).

The caterpillar is generally orange with black branched spines and greenish-black stripes along the body.


The Gulf Fritillary prefers open spaces, areas with trees and backyard gardens.


Both the caterpillar and butterfly feed on passion flowers. In Bermuda this includes the native Inkberry (Passiflora suberosa) and introduced Common Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea).

Gulf Fritillary egg on native Inkberry leaf

Life Cycle

Females lay 1 pale yellow egg on the upper side of the host plants leaves.  The egg hatches into an orange caterpillar with black spines, which feeds on the passionflower leaves. The Gulf Fritillary can have several generations per year.


This species is a resident. The Gulf Fritillary can be attracted to the garden by planting Passion flower.