Jun 24 2012
From mid-June through mid-September Great Spangled Fritillaries are the most common Fritillary in the eastern United States. Here are two in Marcy Cunkelman’s garden.
The word fritillary fascinated me. What does it mean and why does it name a whole group of butterflies?
It comes from the Latin for dice-box.
The butterfly is named Fritillary because it has a brown spotty pattern reminiscent of dice.
A family of lilies is named Fritillaria because they are brownish with a checkered, spotty pattern. Here’s Fritillaria meleagris:
They’re both dice-y. 😉
(photo of Great Spangled Fritillaries by Marcy Cunkelman. photo of Fritillaria meleagris from Wikimedia Commons)