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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

17 Passion Butterfly Facts You’ll Never Forget

The list of passion butterfly facts is interesting and endless! How many of these did you already know?

The passion butterfly, also called the passion flower butterfly, is definitely a creature that has earned its name. It also has multiple other monikers like the longwing and can be frequently seen lounging about its plant of choice - the maypop. The maypop is the generic name for the Passiflora incarnata. Another name for the maypop or the Passiflora incarnata is - you guessed it, the passionflower. It is this affiliation of this butterfly with this particular vine that has earned it its name. However, be careful if you ever decide to take one as a pet! This butterfly species do not do well inside, even when it is a Gulf fritillary caterpillar or an adult. Do you want to know more about passion flower butterfly facts? Or maybe learn all about the Longwing, its life on the vines, egg-laying, and reproduction, and so much more? Then you can read on ahead! You can also check out some other fun insects at morpho butterfly and the black witch moth too.

Passion Butterfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a passion butterfly?

The Gulf fritillary is a type of butterfly.

What class of animal does a passion butterfly belong to?

The Gulf fritillary butterflies belong to the arthropod class.

How many passion butterflies are there in the world?

The estimated number of these butterfly passion-flower species is unexplored.

Where does a passion butterfly live?

The Gulf fritillary lives in open woodlands. Gulf fritillary species are mainly found in the southern United States, particularly in Florida and Texas. The distribution of this butterfly, however, can stretch into Central America and Mexico. Since 2010, they've become more prevalent in the California Central Valley.

What is a passion butterfly's habitat?

The passion butterfly Bougainville prefers open environments, such as fairly sunny regions near open meadows, parks, and woods. Gulf fritillaries can also be seen in butterfly gardens in the U.S. Queen butterflies, like Gulf Fritillaries, like a warm temperature and can be found in open, sunny locations.

Who do passion butterflies live with?

Though larvae of Gulf fritillary species are solitary eaters, they can swiftly infest passionflower vine due to their high numbers.

How long does a passion butterfly live?

The Gulf fritillary can survive for several weeks, up to four to six weeks in warm climates. It can thrive for two to three months in winter conditions, but not below 21 F (-6 C).

How do they reproduce?

The male performs a special activity known as the wing clap display, in which he constantly claps his wings out and shut. The copulation procedure, including the wing clap show, takes about 11 seconds.

The female Gulf fritillary commences the oviposition process by flying low but just above the foliage (mostly the regular host plants such as Passiflora luteam or Passiflora incarnata) and continues until she pauses above a single plant. After landing, the female comes into contact with the host plant and lays an egg to conclude the oviposition process. The chemical structure of the specific genera of a host plant is quite likely the driving element behind what leads the female preferentially oviposit on it or nearby this plant. Thus, the female would oviposit after she recognizes the chemical components (using her antennae).

The eggs are little and spherical, and the female Gulf fritillary deposits them one at a time. Several members of the genus Passiflora are common host plants. After the female deposits the eggs, they are originally yellow in hue. The egg phase of the gulf fritillary's life cycle lasts between three to five days on average. These eggs are frequently found mostly on the top surface of the leaves.

The larvae are deep orange in color with tiny black spines. The larvae mostly devour and feed apart from the leaves throughout the first three larval stages. The new larvae devour the egg casings for sustenance when the eggs hatch. The larvae eat mostly leaves and feed near the leaf margins throughout the last two instar phases.

A small breach appears at the top of the chrysalis after 11-21 days, displaying the butterfly's head. It continues to slide down thru the chrysalis' bottom till its legs are able to cling to the chrysalis' cover and pull itself out the rest of the way. It remains motionless, allowing its wings to dry. Finally, it spreads its wings and takes flight.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List has determined the conservation status of Gulf Fritillaries (butterfly yellow passion flower) feeding on passion vines plants to be of Least Concern same as the red admiral butterfly.

Passion Butterfly Fun Facts

What do passion butterflies look like?

The Gulf fritillary is a standard size butterfly in its adult form. The females of this butterfly are often larger than the males, indicating sexual dimorphism. The undersides of the wings are speckled with gleaming white spots and are brown in color. The uppermost layers of the wings, on the other hand, has a deep orange color having black streaks going across it. Thus, females are often deeper in color and have more black streaks than males and the size disparity between the gender binary.

The Heliconiinae subfamily (Gulf fritillary) includes longwing butterflies, which have extended, narrow wings in comparison to other butterfly families.

How cute are they?

The Gulf fritillary (maypop passion vine butterfly) has an exquisite appearance, and their bright color makes them extremely cuter when they glide.

How do they communicate?

These beautiful yellow passion-flower butterfly species have a chemical defensive reaction in which they produce odorous chemicals in anticipation of predator sightings and play an important part in male-female courting activities.

How big is a passion butterfly?

The average size of an adult butterfly is 2.5-3.7 in (6.35-9.3 cm). The purple emperor butterfly species measures up to 2.4-3.0 in (6.0-7.6 cm). Gulf fritillary species is larger than a purple butterfly.

How fast can a passion butterfly fly?

These passion vine sun butterfly has been seen flying at speeds of up to 12 mph (19.3 kph) and altitudes of up to 11,000 ft (3352.8 m).

How much does a passion butterfly weigh?

These beautiful Gulf fritillary butterflies' weight has yet to be determined.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female Gulf fritillary (passion flower host butterfly) species have no distinct names.

What would you call a baby passion butterfly?

The infant species of Gulf fritillary (passion fruit butterfly) have no unique name.

What do they eat?

The Gulf fritillary caterpillar food plant is also called the host plant for Gulf Fritillaries (members of the genus Passiflora). Adult butterflies feed on nectar from a variety of flowers. The Passiflora host plants are sometimes called the passion vines. Gulf fritillaries will feed on certain species such as Passiflora affinis and Passiflora lutea in some Texas regions in which this butterfly's abundance is large. Gulf fritillary caterpillars and butterflies are food for many birds.

These passion vine plants make effective host plants because they provide a strong framework for larval host environments, allowing young Gulf fritillary populations to be adequately fostered and safeguarded. In addition, the host plant plays an important part in gulf fritillary oviposition, as the female species lay their eggs on or nearby the host plant.

Are they poisonous?

The glossy orange larvae with black spikes eat passionflower vines leaves, making them deadly to predators. However, when touched, the Gulf fritillary caterpillar does not sting. Instead, the chrysalis looks like a wilted leaf.

Would they make a good pet?

This beautiful butterfly species don't perform well in confinement for lengthy periods of time, but they may acclimatize to eating independently for a few days from planted flowers.

Did you know...

In 1998, the white admiral butterfly was chosen as Quebec's official insect, and it is also the state's official butterfly in New York.

Passion vine butterfly facts include that the two largest migrations of species in Florida happen in the spring and the fall, correspondingly.

How did the passion butterfly get its name, and what other names does it have?

Carl Linnaeus gave the Gulf fritillary the scientific name vanillae, depending on a portrait (The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam) depicting an adult with a passion butterfly caterpillar on a vanilla blossom. The Gulf fritillary caterpillar, on the other hand, does not eat the vanilla plant. Therefore, the passion butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) is also called a Gulf fritillary.

What's unique about passion butterflies?

Passion vine butterflies have an interesting property in that they ingest a lot of pollen. Heliconius butterflies' pollen-eating habits are thought to be one of the reasons they remain in the wild for such a long time.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our stick bug facts and Christmas beetle facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable passion butterfly coloring pages.

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