Adopt a Regal Fritillary Butterfly
The Missouri Prairie Foundation invites prairie supporters to symbolically adopt the regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia), one of thousands of species of plants and animals that live on Missouri’s prairies. Your donation helps the Missouri Prairie Foundation acquire and steward original, unplowed prairies and establish and maintain prairie plantings, which provide vitally important habitat to many prairie- and grassland-restricted plants and animals.
As a thank you for your donation of $20 or more to symbolically adopt the regal fritillary butterfly, we will send you an informational card with a print of the artwork and a 3-inch magnet featuring the butterfly art.
While the loss of prairie in Missouri has been dramatic, MPF’s remnant prairies continue to provide vital habitat for a wealth of plants and animals. Learn more about the history of the prairie ecosystem in Missouri and peruse information about the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s prairies that are open to the public to enjoy on foot.
The regal fritillary is perhaps the most well-known prairie butterfly. Although the regal is related to the more common great spangled fritillary butterfly (Speyeria cybele) that is often found in yards, in Missouri, the regal is found only on prairies with a healthy population of several species of prairie violets. It is a large butterfly with distinctive white spots on its hind wings and a conspicuous flight habit. On Missouri’s prairies, regal caterpillars eat only a few violet species and nothing else—without these plants, they cannot survive.
Unfortunately, many butterfly species and other pollinating insects are declining throughout their range due to loss of habitat, which is why the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s work to safeguard populations of native insects and other grassland- and prairie-dependent plants and animals is vitally important.
Portions of the text on this page excerpted from Prairie Paparazzi: Documenting the Regal Fritillary Butterfly by Steve Buback as it appeared in the Missouri Prairie Journal.
Find many resources for supporting pollinators with native plants at the Grow Native! webpage.