Hee hee hee. I'm rubbing off on my co-workers! One of them made sure to point out this lovely to me when she noticed it in a pot of pansies on the front porch of our office the other day:
Variegated Fritillary. A Deep South species and therefore considered more of a migrant to the Mid-Atlantic than an established local breeder, but adults (butterfly form) can be commonly found in New Jersey according to the county butterfly checklist.
Now if I can only stop my co-workers from freaking out over spiders…
Ed. Note: I didn't say anything orignally, but upon initial consideration of the above photo and then an ambivalent but corroborating comment from my mother (my biggest fan and biggest influence: she never said "don't touch," just "wash your hands afterwards…"), the reason my coworker when "ooh" instead of "agh!" over this little lovely was because at the time and life-sized, it wasn't so noticeably, well, um, large and shiny and, ah, fleshily-spiky… Don't think I'll show her this pic. Or take the caterpillar back to work, which is fine because it finally decided to eat the violet leaves I gave it when it ran out of the pansy leaves I brought home with it.