If you have not already done so, it is an excellent time to take out a butterfly field guide and study up on your Fritillaries.
Daniel's Butterflies of Ohio lists 8 different species of Fritillaries, and most are flying right now. Here is a recent photo of two species: Great Spangled Fritillary in the foreground and an Aphrodite Fritillary in the distance. The subtle difference between the two is most easily noted by the yellow margin between the hindwing spots on the Great Spangles.
The Ohio Leps dedicated this weekend to a search for the elusive Regal Fritillary, which has not been seen in Ohio since 1991. We have not totally written them off, but unless someone can produce a location for them in the fairly near future, these bold beauties of the prairies, currently classed as endangered, may well be reclassified to the extirpated list. That would be a sad record for Ohio, indeed.
Another frit of great interest was recently seen in southern Ohio; a Gulf Fritillary sighting was posted on Jim McCormac's blog (July 14). These similarly colored fliers have much longer, narrower wings. You can bet we will we watching for them on the Appalachian Butterfly Conference field trips! If you haven't signed up yet, you'll want to get your registration in the mail soon, as trips are starting to fill completely.