Diana Fritillary

By William T. Hathaway

Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana)

Back in the 1960's the Diana Fritillaries were fairly common in the northwestern parts of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Their larvae fed on birdfoot violet plants. Female Dianas were often seen feeding on Joe-pie-weed as they fluttered from plant to plant — occasionally clinging in groups of four or five individuals. Male Dianas were netted as they fed on animal manure left deposited on dirt roads.

In recent years no Dianas can be found in their former locations as we knew them. A Danville naturalist, Hugh Wyatt, is now studying this species and has found Diana populations in the foothills and counties of the Blue Ridge Mountains.