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From Missouri Conservationist: Jul 1999

Regal Fritillary Speyeria idalia

Look for this large, colorful butterfly during summer in tallgrass prairies in western and northern Missouri. From late August to mid-September, females lay eggs, which hatch in 3 to 4 weeks. After hatching, the caterpilars bury themselves in leaf litter until spring, when they feed on violets. Butterflies are important food items for birds and other animals and serve as plant pollinators. Regal fritillaries once ranged from the Dakotas, east to Maine and Virginia, but are now absent from most areas east of the Mississippi river. Although we likely have fewer regal fritillaries in Missouri today than in the past because of the loss and fragmentation of prairies, the butterfly's numbers remain stable in the state. The Conservation Department helps this species by promoting prairie management.--Janet Sternbur

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Tom Cwynar
Assistant Editor - Charlotte Overby
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Designer - Tracy Ritter
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer