North American Range
Similar in size and markings to the Silver-bordered Fritillary, the Meadow Fritillary is a much more successful generalist than its relative. Though it prefers the same wet meadows as the Silver-bordered, it seems much more capable of surviving and thriving in disturbed habitats, which may explain its recent range expansion in some southeastern areas. Males patrol meadows with a low flight, during warm daytime hours. Females lay eggs on twigs and plants other than the host violets. Caterpillars feed on violet leaves and hibernate when in the third to fourth instar.
Forewing squared below tip. Upperside orange-red with heavy black markings. Underside of hindwing patterned with orange and purple-brown; off-white basal patch and metallic silver spots lacking.
There appeared to be at least three flights during VBS, each overlapping slightly with the next. Extreme dates: 7 May 2004 in Bennington (K. Hemeon), and 15 Septemeber 2003 in Mount Tabor (J. Przypek) and in Grand Isle (D. Hoag).
Distribution and Habitat
Scudder (1889) called it “well distributed in New England. During VBS it was rarely reported from the Green Mountains or the Northeast Highlands, but was common and widespread in more southern or lower elevation areas. It prefers wet, open habitats. Hostplants are Northern White Violet (Viola pallens) and Woolly Blue Violet (Viola sororia). Eleven nectar sources were reported during VBS.