Table of Contents
Journal of Insects
Volume 2013, Article ID 130694, 4 pages
Research Article

Observations of Resource Use by the Threatened Diana Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria diana) in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA

1Department of Biological Sciences, 132 Long Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
2Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Watauga Campus, Boone, NC 28607, USA

Received 21 May 2013; Revised 18 August 2013; Accepted 26 August 2013

Academic Editor: Benjamin Hoffmann

Copyright © 2013 Carrie N. Wells and Eric A. Smith. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present four summers (2006–2009) of field observations of the Diana fritillary, Speyeria diana (Cramer, 1777), throughout the Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, in the eastern portion of its distribution. We describe our observations of resource use by S. diana in sites located in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Butterflies imbibed nectar from five genera (>11 species) of flowering plants and also imbibed liquid from dirt roads and horse manure. The majority of butterflies (57%) were observed feeding on milkweed, Asclepias spp., a high-quality nectar-producing plant which is known to be an important resource for many Lepidoptera. We documented 14 species of Viola spp., the larval host plant used by Speyeria, in our survey sites. All butterflies were marked to observe their movement. Recapture rates ranged from 17% to 56%, suggesting that dispersal of S. diana out of suitable habitat was somewhat limited.