The “Diana Fritillary Butterfly” Is The State Butterfly of Arkansas. The State Designated the official butterfly On February 28, 2007, Act 156 of the Arkansas General Assembly As the Official Arkansas State Butterfly. Introduced by Representative John Paul Wells of Logan County, the legislation for making the butterfly a state symbol took note of the butterfly’s beauty, and impact on tourism in Arkansas.
Arkansas is the only state to designate the State Butterfly of Arkansas Diana fritillary as its Arkansas State Butterfly, pairing it with its state insect, the honeybee. Arkansas is the twenty-sixth state to designate a butterfly as their official state symbol. The Arkansas State Butterfly “Diana Fritillary Butterfly” is among the most spectacular of the 134 resident species of butterflies found in Arkansas.
The Name Diana was the Roman goddess of light and life (Artemis in Greek mythology), later known as the goddess of the moon and hunting, and as a protector of women. Females Diana Fritillary is larger, and their coloring is dramatically different from the males (black with bright blue markings and white spots).
Description and Identification:
Scientific Name: Speyeria Diana
Sexual Dimorphism: Distinctly present
Distribution: Southern and eastern North America
Habitat: Sunny wooded areas, forest edges
Host plants: Leaves of plants from the violet (Violaceae) family
Adult diet: Flower nectar and dung
Flight pattern: Fast
Average wingspan: 3 7/16 to 4 7/16 inches (8.7 to 11.3 cm)
Color and Appearance: While the male butterflies have broad orange borders at the outer edges of both the forewings and the hind wings when they are open, and burnt orange color when closed, the females exhibit a dark blue coloration on the dorsal side of their wings and almost a dusty grayish hue on the ventral side. Also, by size, the female of the species is larger than the male.
Eggs: Yellowish to pale white in color, laid one at a time. These butterflies have a unique characteristic of scattering their eggs at the base of the violet plants (instead of laying them on the leaves, like most other butterfly species).