There are many colourful butterflies in the large and varied Family of Nymphalid butterflies. They are especially common in sunny, flowery meadows and woodland clearings. Some like the Mourningcloaks and Admirals are easy for beginner bugsters to identify. Others like the challenging orange and black checkered fritillaries are a bit trickier to tell apart.
The medium to large butterflies in this Family are commonly called Brushfoots because the front legs are reduced to small fuzzy stumps, and canít be used for walking. The remaining four legs are sufficient for getting around.
The generally dark spiny caterpillars may have hornlike projections at either end. They often feed at night. The chrysalis (butterfly pupa) hangs suspended upside down suspended from hooks. The pupal case is often decorated with gold or silver spots or knobby projections. Nymphalids may overwinter as eggs, caterpillars or even adults, depending on species.
In Alberta there are about 21 species of Fritillaries, 11 Checkerspots, 5 Commas, 4 Tortoiseshells (including the Mourningcloak), 4 Vanessas (including the Red Admiral and Painted Lady), and 4 Admirals (including the White Admiral and the Viceroy).
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Where to find Brushfoots in Alberta
There is currently no information regarding this species in our Where & When database.
Brushfoot Family Behaviour
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Interesting Facts about Brushfoots
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Recent Brushfoot Family Reports in Alberta
Town Creek Natural Area
Brushfoot Family Hotspots in Alberta
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