Regal Fritillary

Alan Wormington wormington at
Sat Aug 19 13:27:37 EDT 2000

Here is one idea that should be considered:

Both the Regal Fritillary and Great Spangled Fritillary are extremely
nomadic.  But obviously the habitat requirments of Regal are more
limited, and perhaps the selection of foodplants is more narrow.  In
southern Ontario (and presumably in much of the east), the records of
Regal Fritillary over the decades has been the following:  (1) small
temporary colonies that don't seem to last very long; and (2)
miscellaneous records of single individuals in locations that may or may
not be suitable for reproduction (for example, the last known record for
Ontario was at Rondeau Prov. Park in 1973 -- not only is this the ONLY
known record for Rondeau, but this site is clearly not suitable for the
reproduction of the species).

With all of the above in mind, I can hypothesize that as the number of
colonies of Regal became fewer and smaller, it slowly became impossible
for individuals to find each other for the purpose of reproduction.  In
contrast, if colonies were more permanent this would not be a problem, as
all individuals would be present at a single site.  The wandering
tendencies of Great Spangled Fritillary has not been negative on the
success of that species, probably because the species is not so fussy in
its choice of habitat and/or foodplants.  Perhaps an analysis of all
collected specimens in various museums might shed some interesting
information -- for example, are the single site/single individual records
all male? all female? or a mix?  Is (was) one sex more nomadic than the

Alan Wormington
Leamington, Ontario

On 19 Aug 2000 05:51:06 GMT newtchris at (NewtChris) writes:
> Is it possible to find out what is known about the decline of these 
> butterflies
> to date?  I'm sure if the combined knowledge, experience and skill 
> of the
> patrons of this newsgroup were put to use, the cause of and solution 
> to its
> demise could be determined.  At least a successful captive breeding 
> program
> could be established.
> Any ideas, suggestions?
> Chris

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