Variegated Fritillaries are a southern species that is uncommon in Knox County. The one pictured here was photographed in late August in a prairie in northern Knox County. They have also been seen in the pine plantation and the prairie restoration areas at the BFEC. Adults tend to be difficult to approach unless they are visiting flowers or imbibing water from moist soil. When disturbed their flight is rapid and low to the ground. Plants used as energy sources for adults include ironweed, dogbane, red clover, common milkweed, asters, and thistles. All of these are common on the hillside near the BFEC pine plantation. Females are reported to lay eggs on a variety of violets and plantain.
The pattern of this fritillary is similar to that of other fritillaries and might be overlooked, however the upper surface is duller orange and often has yellow-orange patches. If in doubt, it is easily identified by the large white patch on the underside of the hindwing.